Elmrattottal

No.

24

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

Graphology and tke
Psychology oi Handwriting

JUNE

E

DOWNEY
Wyoming

Professor of Psijcholoflv,, Uulver.itij of

BALTIMORE

WARWICK

&
1919

YORK,

Inc.

COPYRIGHT, 1919
by

WARWICK

&

YORK,

Inc.

To
William O.

Owen

In recognition of his devotion

To
Truth as an Ideal

CONTENTS
PART
Introduction
I.

I

The Basal Concepts
1.

2.
3. 4.
5.

of Graphology Handwriting as a form of Dramatic Expression.... The Central Factor in Handwriting Individuality.
.

6 6
7 10
1 1

.

Control in Handwriting
Variability

The Theory

of Signs;

The Graphological

Portrait...

13 17 17

Graphological Methods The Method of Analogy 1.
2. 3.

Appeal to Psychological Principles Empirical Observation and Comparison (Effect on writing of Education; Profession; Age; Sex; Fatigue; Disease).
Intuitive

18

20

4.
5.

Method

26
29
35

Graphology 6. Pathological Writing The Graphological Elements (Comparative Survey of Graphological, Mechanical, Pathological, and ExExperimental
perimental Investigations)
1.
/ Graphic Dimensions Force of Movement; Pressure; Line-Quality

39
39

2. 3.

46
51 51

Direction of

Movement

A.
B.
4.
5.

Slant

Alignment

57

Continuity of

Movement

63 67

Proportion above and below base line

PART

ii.

EXPERIMENTAL.
71

Disguised Handwriting
Intra-Individual
Variability

(Influence

of

Physical condition on Size,

Slant,

Mental and and Align-

/

ment) Graphic Individuality, (Comparison of Handwriting Pattern with characteristic Expressive

Movements)

...

97

VIII.

Graphological Study of Handwriting of Psychologists. (Correlation of graphological and Characterological
1.

105 arrangements) Preoccupation with details versus preoccupation with
principles

in
113 116
1

2. 3.

Feeling of Self-Worth Originality versus Organizing Capacity

4.
5. 6.

Aggressiveness

19

Temperament
Explosive versus Inhibited Make-up Conclusions

120 126
132
139

IX.

Summary and
References

PREFACE
The following
bility

studies are designed to canvass the possi-

of a scientific characterological utilization of hand-

writing. Their main purpose is one of orientation, preliminary to an attempt to use graphic activity in tests of temperamental or character traits, tests which are now in process of standardization.

The discussion falls into two parts. Part I consists mainly of a critical comparison of graphological contentions and the outcome of modern scientific investigations of handwriting. Part II reports a number of experimental studies, designed
made of
largely to try out various methods of approach. Free use is results from other experimental investigations by

myself which have been previously reported. The chapter on "Disguised Handwriting" is reprinted, with a few minor additions, from the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The "Graphological Study

of the Handwriting of Psychol-

ogists" was made possible through the generous assistance of those psychologists who furnished me with the material

In the study on necessary for a characterological rating. "Intra-Individual Variability," I am greatly indebted to John E. Anderson for faithful cooperation and in other studies I have had the kind assistance of my pupils and colleagues at the University of Wyoming. I take this opportunity of ex;

pressing to

all

who have

aided

me my
1918.

heartiest thanks.

JUNE; E.
University of

DOWNEY.

Wyoming, August,

Part

I

CHAPTER

I.

INTRODUCTION.
present day preoccupation with applied and, particwith vocational psychology has revived an interest in attempts to analyze character by mearis of physical traits or have, for example, systems of objective products. character analysis based upon so-called fundamental physical variables such as pigmentation, form, size, structure, and expression. Graphology as an alleged science of psychodiagnosis utilizes a particular form of expression, nameularly,

The

We

/ly, handwriting.

Graphology as so defined

should,

how-

ever, be discriminated from the graphology which is a study of graphic signs of service in the identification of writing. Both uses of the word are current today ; in our present dis-

cussion
It

we are mainly interested in the former. has been assumed by many scientific workers that graphology as a system of character diagnosis is on a level with other pseudo-sciences which look for a facile interpretation of one's mental make-up from a reading of the lines in the palm of the hand or the bumps on the head. And, in fact, certain extravagant claims of certain ambitious graphologists relative to the possibility of determining the color of a writer's eyes or the shape of his nose or the elasticity of his bank-account from his chirographic style justify a healthy The best graphologists show, however, a cauincredulity. tion and conservatism in interpretation that wins in a measure the reader's confidence and a desire to hear what those of best repute have to say in defense of their art. So far as the details of graphological diagnosis go one may, indeed, be exceedingly sceptical and yet unwilling to dismiss the whole matter on the ground that graphology is on a par with palmistry, phrenology, or astrology. HowI

2

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

ever mistaken and overly optimistic graphologists may have been however obviously inadequate their control of observations, the precipitate from the extensive study of such men and as Preyer, Crepieux-Jamin, Meyer, Schneidemiihl,
;

Klages certainly deserves respectful consideration. Moreover, on the general ground of intimate relationship between consciousness and motor expression, the graphic pattern which we call handwriting individuality demands careful
scrutiny.

viduality

may

Possibly the determinants of handwriting indibe wholly external to the individual's psychic

make-up, but the statement should at least be accompanied by an interrogation point. A more conservative position grants the possibility at some future day of utilizing handwriting in psychodiagnosis but would defer such an attempt until a more perfect technique has been acquired by psychologists for analysis of the grapho-motor process and the
graphic product. The wisdom of this position is evident but an endeavor to try out immediately certain graphological principles seems justifiable for the following reason. Mental testing which is opening out into such tremendous possibilities with reference to the analysis of the intelli-

gence make-up

is

still

tests for character

baffled by the problem of diagnostic and temperamental traits. But the need

of such tests is as obvious as difficulties in the way of getEspecially necessary in vocational ting them are great. Two selection is a determination of character qualifications. individuals of equally keen intelligence may be very unequally fitted for the same position by reason of difference in degree of persistence, energy, ambition, self-confidence and the like. After a certain level of intelligence is attained, barring cases of exceptional ability, success in life would seem to be dictated more largely by temperamental qualities

than by mentality status. The need for diagnostic tests of such qualities therefore renders unnecessary any extensive apology for excursions even into debatable territory. The slightest chance of stumbling upon a useful suggestion of procedure justifies such an excursion.

INTRODUCTION

3

But only those readers who have attempted to work through it are aware how voluminous is the literature of graphology. This literature is found mainly in the French Discussions of graphology by and German languages.
English writers suffer greatly by comparison, so much more discriminating, and scholarly are the former. somewhat close reading of a number of these works has convinced me that a summary of the points of view involved might be profitably undertaken. If nothing more, it may stimulate the psychology of handwriting to novel methods
subtle,

A

of approach.

survey of graphological doctrine I have followed, comparative treatment. I have sought, that is, to present graphological material in light of the perspective furnished by the modern scientific study of handwriting. Such study has pursued several differing lines of interest, word as to each will serve very differently motivated. to map out our territory. 1. The most scientific study of handwriting has centered its interest in a delicate analysis of the graphic movements as a form of motor reaction. Such investigators have deand are perfecting an elaborate instrumental techveloped One recalls in this connection the fine work of Gross, nique.
In

my

largely, a

A

Diehl,
2.

Meumann, Freeman and
less controlled

others.

Much

valuable as an attempt to angle are attempts to determine certain mental factors that condition handwriting the study, for example, of the imag;

and objective in its methods but approach the analysis from another

inal

and sensational control processes (Downey) or the

fac-

tor of unconscious imitation (Starch).

third investigation, motivated primarily by peda3. gogical interests, has served to establish definite standards for the evaluation of writing speed, quality and legibility.

A

Various scales of evaluation of graphic products have been put to extensive use, among them the widely known scales of Ayers and Thorndike.

4
4.

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE} PSYCHOLOGY

01?

HANDWRITING

practical need for accurate identihandwriting for legal purposes, both civil and criminal, the handwriting experts have given us detailed analyses of the effect upon penmanship of writing systems and writing apparatus. They have stimulated discussions of the limits of variability and of disguise in the hands of individuals and have adopted a procedural technique that
fication of

Under pressure of

offers many a suggestion to the student of other aspects of the general problem. Particularly stimulating is the account by Osborn of the utilization by the expert of the most

modern

of mechanical appliances such as the document microscope, the enlarged photograph, and delicate scales for determination of line-width, degree of curvature of connecting lines and similar graphic details. 5. Very greatly in contrast to the regulated analysis of the legal expert are the descriptions of pathological writing furnished us by psychiatrists. Yet pathological writing affords, as we shall see, a unique method of checking up conclusions reached by other forms of procedure. 6. Lastly, we may list a line of investigation somewhat difficult to characterize. It consists in the utilization of writing as a material which may be employed in discovering certain types of perceptual and judgmental reaction.
Strictly speaking

our interest

in this connection

is

not in

the psychology of writing, as such, but in the psychology of the observer of graphic products. This latter aspect of the
situation is implicit in graphology in so far as the graphologist gives evidence of virtuosity in his handling of graphic material. Binet's investigation of the graphologist ap-

proached the subject from this angle. Psychological investigation makes a similar approach in utilizing handwriting
as a material for study of the subjective judgment in tracing family resemblances, and in training the expert judge of

handwriting for school systems. The insistence by Osborn that extreme blindness to graphic form on the part of the presiding judge may seriously handicap presentation of evidence in the courts also stresses the significance of the sub-

INTRODUCTION
jective factor in the applied

5

psychology of handwriting. of procedure may now be outlined. The general plan first part of this little volume proposes to discuss, with the critical background furnished by the specific investigations listed above in addition to general psychological theory, the

Our

following topics;
^

i.

The general concepts upon which

the graphologists

build their elaborate structure.
2.
%

The methods they have
particular
traits.

utilized in their

correlate

graphic

with

particular

endeavor to mental or
as

temperamental
.

3.

The

significance of certain graphic elements

de-

termined by graphology and by psychology. The second part of the book will be devoted to reports on experimental investigation of a few specific graphological Since the question of method of attack will, assumptions. necessarily, be in the foreground, meagre positive results may be anticipated. Whatever positive conclusions are suggested will encourage us in our search for diagnostic
material.

The particular problems we shall attack in this part include handwriting disguise as basal to all efforts to discriminate between the spontaneous and the controlled
;

hand

intra-individual variability graphic individuality and, lastly, a graphological reading of a collection of hands checked by a characterological rating obtained by a modified form of the order of merit method.
;

;

CHAPTER

II.

THE BASAL CONCEPTS OF GRAPHOLOGY.
reading of graphological literature, five concepts an understanding of the general asThese concepts may be listed as follows: sumptions. (i) Handwriting as a form of emotional or dramatic ex-

From my

emerge as

essential to

pression; (2) Graphic individuality as an outcome of central factors; (3) The limits of voluntary control and its significance for psychodiagnosis from written products
;

(4)

of the graphological signs and of the (5) graphological portrait. Let us discuss briefly what is involved in each of these concepts. I. Handwriting as a form of Dramatic Expression. general presupposition of graphology is that all move-

The range and The conception

significance of graphic variability;

and

A

ment has dramatic nuance and mirrors temperamental tendencies. Writing is described as an expressive movement on a par with gesture and emotional attitude. The French
characterization of writing as composed of "petits gestes" conveys distinctly the point of view involved.
It

may

be said that

this

fundamental conception, even

if

true, is too general to be of plication demands a definite

serviceable apcomprehension of the principles
value.

much

A

underlying emotional and dramatic expression and its application to a series of abbreviated movements that are primarily constrained by the demands of social communication
to the production of stereotyped signs that within certain prescribed limits. At best we

may

vary only have a baffling
Training, Yet, of

entangling of external

and internal

factors.

practice, convention "rigidify" the petit gesture.

course, all emotional expression both yields to and yet moulds conventional requirements, witness such forms as

tone of voice, facial accents, bodily postures. How far, in fact, emotional attitudes are an outcome of conventionalized

6

THE BASAL CONCEPTS OF GRAPHOLOGY
and traditional expression, how far dominated by

7
racially

ingrained patterns is itself a problem. shall have occasion to consider this question at closer quarters when reviewing the graphic signs that are selected

We

as significant of emotional tendencies.
classification

Certainly, the broad

and (eccentric) outgoing movements of withdrawal (concentric) as characterizing respectively attitudes of aggression and of defense cannot
of

movements

sustain too great a weight.

more

specifically

The when we come

situation will be canvassed
to deal with variations in

Slant and Alignment, which are thought to carry emotional
implications.
2. The Central Factor in Handwriting Individuality. The existence of graphic individuality, often of a very

pronounced type, will hardly be questioned. Its explanation Is individuality in handis, however, open to discussion.
writing a product of objective factors only? Or in despite of these does writing assume a specific character ? Perhaps the cleanest-cut treatment of handwriting individuality, although not necessarily the that furnished by the practical expert.

most convincing,
It is

is

of course his
;

contention that no two hands are ever precisely identical he is willing to stake his professional reputation upon the possibility of handwriting identification but he is apt to add
that the individuality with which he deals is an outcome of the multiplicity of factors involved. Graphic individuality is acquired its origin is to be sought in the system learned
;

acquired habits of arm, wrist and finger movement, in the kind of writing apparatus that is utilized, in the amount of practice, in professional requirements, social imitation and 'the like. On a low basis of calculation as to possible variations in writing characters which have been determined by careful analysis, Osborn tells us that "the mathematical probability of two complete handwritings being identical is one in something more than sixty-eight trillions."
in school, in

(36:233)

8

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

The graphologists, on the other hand, assume that the individual stamp of penmanship is a matter largely of central

As evidence

"Handscript" is, essentially, "Hirnschrift." of this they emphasize an observation frequently found in the literature of the subject that the writing of a
origin.

given individual may be variously produced so far as musculature is concerned and still bear the individual stamp.

We are told specifically that the

foot-writing and the mouthof a given individual resemble his hand-writing. writing (39:37) It is, moreover, a matter of general observation that one's free arm, magnified writing on the blackboard resembles one's finer pen-script executed perhaps with delicate
finger

movement.

of central factors could not, of course, be cited as decisive so far as significance of graphic individuality is

The presence

Objective conditions might leave a deof design and proportion of letters and the like which might well function in spite of shift in But, obviousperipheral musculature or writing apparatus. ly, the graphologist must mean something more than this. His conception of graphic style carries implications of the same stamp being impressed upon other movements executed by the individual in which there could be no question of the operation of specific graphic habits. He has, indeed, claimed that a similarity exists between a man's handwriting and the manner in which he walks or gesticulates he has asserted that the pencraft of the painter mirrors the peculiar distinction that marks the sweep of his brush across the canconcerned.
posit of

memory images

;

vas.

of no controlled observations supporting such Obviously there must be a wide range for error if such conclusions are based merely upon casual observations that are motivated by definite expectation and interest. In the second part of the book I shall report an attempt to test the assertion of the existence of individual motor patI

know

statements.

terns which stamp gesture

and walk and posture as well as

handwriting.

THE BASAL CONCEPTS OF GRAPHOLOGY
Psychologists

9

who have made

a special study of writing

movements have had little to say of graphic individuality. Hirt(23a:386) speaks of unknown biological laws which
are basal to handwriting individuality. Meumann holds, "It is the na,ture of innervations coming from the cerebral cor-

form and extent to which they are synthesized, that main determinant of the character of the writing." (32:337)
tex, the
is

the

Movement-individuality
different faqtors

is

more or

less

probably a product of many fundamental to personality as

Such, for example, are sensory predispositions, degree of unidextrality and the like. Many of these contributing factors might well be discussed in detail but since individuality is a function of the complex as a whole rather than that of the elements as elements we may postpone certain observations until later. Series of samples showing the genetic development of hands would be of very great value in helping us to analyze the appearance and the consistency of graphic individuality. The great individual variation in the time at which handwriting sets or matures with a consequent fixation of "style" is one of the most interesting aspects of writing with which I am acquainted. Time of fixation appears in many instances to be a family trait and opens up the question of the possibility of innate and very fundamental tendencies reflected in the existence of family hands unless, of course, the family type be wholly the product of social and educational environment. Personally, I am convinced that family resemblance in chirography is not to be explained on the basis of similarity in teaching and social models. Nor indeed do I find its most impressive aspect in similarity in graphic details such as design of letters but rather in the appearance of general motor patterns, a fluidity or rigidity of movement, an inflection of manner that seems to lie back of the assumed features. Hirt's oba whole.

motor

skill,

servations on this point are of particular value and his interesting citation of his own case carries considerable weight in favor of a heritable factor being involved in the situation

JO

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

own collection of cases carries the same (23a:386). import. (14b) While Thorndike on the assumption of a native factor has utilized the resemblance between the handwriting of twins as a means of getting a scale of unintentional resemblance. (46b) More recently still Starch has re-

My

ported a correlation of .72 for speed of writing in a group of eighteen pairs of adult siblings, and a correlation of .46 for quality of writing. (43b) 3. Control in Handwriting. In a sense the concept of voluntary control is the crucial

one

in

demand

graphology. Graphologists in accepting a specimen that it be a "bona fide" article. They refuse to

handle what they call calligraphic or purely conventional hands hands that lack individuality. They would seem to recognize the possibility of writing from which all individuality has been squeezed by pressure of professional necessity or by need for disguise. What it sought is a handwriting specimen in which the individual gives way to natural impulses of expression. They prefer for their purposes the free writing which one addresses to one's self in rapid notetaking or the writing in informal letters to intimates rather

than the chirography on stilts which one assumes to impress another or for formal examination purposes. That the limit of control is the crucial point in handwriting identification has been clearly seen by the legal experts. Schneikert (41), for example, in planning for the Berlin police system a method of classification of the handwriting of criminals for purposes of identification bases his general scheme on the elements in writing that may be easily disSuch graphic characteristics as size, guised or the reverse. slant, form of letters are easily modified at will while relative proportion between one and two or three space letters, continuity of writing, mannerisms in dotting the i, etc., remain relatively constant even in an attempt to disguise writ;

ing.
his

In general, the success of the legal expert depends upon knowledge of where to examine writing with the expec-

THE BASAL CONCEPTS OP GRAPHOLOGY
tation of seeing the

II

guise ing a

mask dropped. The most careful disthrough at some point. Some trick in makcomma, or crossing the "t" may give away the secret.
lets light

of what

Furthermore, only the expert is aware of the significance we may call graphic inconsistencies, the appearance, for instance, of an alien letter-form in a writing of a particis

Almost supernormal control ular type. bition of the numerous habits that have

involved in inhi-

been evolved in the

course of learning to write. Moreover, this excessive control manifests itself in the appearance in such artificial writing of numerous evidences of writing inhibition, hesitations,

ment

and retouching of letters. Often the flowing writing moveis replaced by a slow drawing movement which in itself is indicative of a high degree of voluntary control or effort. So much we learn from the legal expert. The experimental graphologist has not been slow to utilize this conception of control in his study of writing-types. Klages (26b) discussing the meaning and limitations of
the concept of handwriting as a type of individual behavior states that one should attempt to diagnose character from

writing only after a thoroughgoing effort to classify a particular writing with reference to the amount of control exercised in the writing-act. He classifies writing as either ( I ) artificial or (2) natural. Artificial writing includes dis-

Under natguised, calligraphic, and ornamental writing. ural or spontaneous writing we get (a) a more controlled and
Control in writ(b) a more involuntary type of writing. ing may arise either from mastery of impulse or from excessive inhibition. Involuntary or uncontrolled writing also shows variations dependent upon acquired traits. It is shown, however, that the concept of an acquired handwriting absolutely inexpressive of the writer's organization is but a limiting notion. Power of disguise or a high degree of sustained control are themselves significant traits.
4.

Variability.
is

The concept of variability may be considered from two

allied to that of control.
first,

It

standpoints,

that of spec-

12
ific

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OP HANDWRITING

conditions

variability in the writing of different persons under set and, secondly, range of variability in the writing
;

of a particular individual. The extent and quality of graphic variations that may be anticipated under given conditions such as emotional disturbance, nervous disease and the like or those that are de-

pendent upon age, sex, and profession will be rehearsed in other connections. may confine ourselves here to consideration of variability in the writing of a given individual. Is this variability so great as to prohibit all utilization of

We

writing in character-study ?

Absolute invariability in graphic products
unthinkable.

is,

of course,

One

of the

most suspicious signs of a forgery

by tracery

consists in an exact reproduction of a signature. existence of two absolutely identical natural autographs is an impossibility, the experts tell us. Their comparisons involve of course microscopic measurements and not the

The

But granting a variable eye. element in all graphic expression, is it so extreme as to lead us to conclude that writing individuality is too fluid a thing to have diagnostic significance? Such a question could be answered only by an estimation of the actual extent of variability found in the writing of a given reagent under cited conditions.. In the hope of getting some exact determination of the range of variability I
gathered the material and made the measurements reported in one of the studies in Part II. The range of variability was found to be pretty extreme but without loss of individVariability in particular graphic signs and the interpretation of the significance of such specific variation is another matter.
uality.

mere testimony of the bare

In any case, the
write twice alike,"
in writings that

common
is

exclamation of laymen, "I never

may have

The similarity subject to big discount. elicted such a comment one I

have heard again and again may be so striking as to lead the experimenter to wonder at the blindness of the person in question. Undoubtedly, however, one is more sensitive to

THE BASAL CONCEPTS OF GRAPHOLOGY
,

13

minor variations

in one's

own

writing or in that of members

of one's household than to variation in that of acquaintances, just as most of us are less ready than strangers to see re-

semblances in the family circle. It should be noted at this point that the writing-expert is accustomed to find graphic variability limited by the writing habits which are a product of the kind of movement and writing-systems learned and the amount of practice or graphic expertness. Variability is introduced by objective factors such, for example, as the haste or leisure with which one writes, the quality of pen, paper, and ink, the innumerable chance factors that have a casual and not a causal significance.

The best graphologists are aware of such factors conditioning the appearance of a handwriting under examination. They demand many specimens of a given writing produced
under varying conditions.. They refuse, frequently, to attempt interpretation of unaccustomed, official, clerical, or so-called calligraphic writing. They ask for running writing produced under natural conditions of interest in the
content.
5. The Theory of Signs; The Graphological Portrait. In organizing their systems and presenting a technique of procedure, graphologists are wont to list so-called graphological signs or elements together with an interpretation of their significance. Variations occur, of course, in the vari-

ous presentations.

Under some form, however, all writers upon the subject deal with such graphic elements as size, alignment, slant, degree of continuity, proportion and the like. Usually a multiplicity of causes for the same effect is
canvassed.

The mechanical aspect of much of the work with "signs" has been definitely criticized and in practice the graphologists modify their analytic procedure by an attempt to interpret each detail in the light of the setting in which it occurs. In the conception of the graphological portrait, the synthetic function of graphology is stressed at expense of

14

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

The real measure of a graphologist's expertthe analytic. ness consists in his ability to interpret graphic signs in their relation to one another and to the whole complex in which they occur. He must synthesize a multiplicity of details, reconcile opposing symptoms and succeed in locating the
standing of the organization of diverse
personality.

central characteristic that furnishes the key to an undertraits into a unique

A balancing process somewhat similar is urged by Dr. Blackford (5) upon those who would use successfully her system of character-analysis. It is not sufficient to list for any individual the fundamental physical variables, color, One must be skilled in desize, texture, form and the like. termining how one characteristic modifies another in the
way
of accentuation or neutralization
;

as, for instance, the

degree to which convexity of form annuls brunette coloring. One must discover a unity back of apparent contradictions.

At

this point scientific analysis is

abandoned for

artistic

Just as little as a cataloguing of psycho-physical traits can give us the living personalities of fiction and drama can a tabular summary of graphic characteristics and their
creation.

significance give us the graphological portrait.

very interesting problems are involved in this con First, to what extent, if any, will science ever sucception. ceed in capturing the inmost citadel of personality? And, secondly, can it force its way in by any such a tour de force
as that of the trained intuitions of the graphologist or of the

Two

physiognomist or other student of expression? The attempt of the psychologist to penetrate the secrets
of character-organization is evident in his recent torturing of the instinctive life in his search for an all-sufficient prinThat he has made valuable discovciple of interpretation. eries must be conceded so far as his skill in twitching out His success of the pattern certain threads is in question. at synthesis is less evident as shown by the sense of violated personality that his analyses leave with us in contrast to our acquiescence in the portrayal of the same individuality by

THE) BASAL CONCEPTS OF

GRAPHOLOGY

1

5

the great dramatist or fictionist. Quite probably it is a So far mistake to confuse the functions of science and art. as theoretical psychology is concerned her function may well

be limited to furnishing a technique for character-analysis with, at most, a cataloguing of certain temperamental and But applied character patterns and correlational formulae. psychology will probably not content itself with bare for-

mulae; it will develop the expert diagnostician whose advise anent matters of vocational pursuits or mental hygiene
will be very definitely controlled by the results of a clinical examination conducted by himself or his specialists but will involve further a fusion in the white light of characterThe expert medical diagnostician also possesdivination.

ses this synthetic activity to a

high degree we are

told.

How

far such a gift is the outcome of original genius, how far the result of previous analysis and rich experience it is imIt brings us face possible to say in our present ignorance.
to face with

many

curious problems that are inherent in

the concepts of "Intuition" and "Automatic Acitivity" and with certain aspects of the analytic versus the synthetic method of handling material to which we shall return in a
later discussion.

tain

to our second question, the adequacy of cerforms of comprehensive character diagnosis, is very simple. They have not as yet been able to substantiate their claims. We hear of skilled readers of the human countenance but where may one find reported a controlled

The answer

of their actual proficiency? Business psychology is, however, envisaging this problem at close quarters and it may discover in time a specialized ability for speedy and accurate estimate of human nature on the bases of physical form and expression but from present indications it appears more likely to recommend instead a complete substitution of standardized mental tests as more accurate than the immedtest

iate

judgment of the most experienced judge of human

nature.

l6

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

The proficiency of professional graphologists in delineation of the graphological portrait can be estimated only by It is not easy to win the consent of a procontrolled tests.
fessional to the precautions that are necessary. Binet (3c), however, succeeded in gaining the confidence of the French

graphologists but in order to estimate their success or failure in numerical form he was compelled to limit his test to investigation of more or less mutilated aspects of characterreading, namely the determination of sex, age, and com-

The parative intelligence and morality from chirography. specific results of Binet's investigations we shall have occasion to refer to as the discussion develops. Suffice it to say
here that Binet concluded that although there was something of truth in graphology as practiced by his collaboraerror and uncertainty. tors, 'there was also much gross Graphology he thought might, however, be a science of the future. Quite possibly handwriting may be utilized in character diagnosis but in a much more modest form than is implied in the notion of the graphological portrait.

CHAPTER

ill.

GRAPHOLOGICAL METHODS.
In connection with a detailed discussion of the correlation of mental traits with specific graphic signs, we shall have

In this chapoccasion to handle this topic with some care. ter let us confine ourselves to general observations.
In reading graphological literature I have frequently asked myself what evidence could be cited for particular conclusions and, frequently, I have been unable to put my finger on the method by which the conclusion was reached. It is, in fact, a rather difficult matter classifying or characThey are implicit terizing the kinds of evidence utilized. rather than explicit in the graphological treatment, as is usually the case when a complex material is handled by a method of procedure that may be described as intuitive An exrather than analytical, artistic rather than scientific.
haustive study of the logic of graphology would probably repay the investigator. I shall, however, content myself with characterization of what I take to be the chief methods utilized by graphologists, namely, (i)) The Method of

Analogy; (2) The Deduction of certain conclusions from general Psychological 'Principles; (3) The Inductive Method of Empirical Observation and of Comparative Study of Group and Individual Variation; (4) The Intuitional Procedure; (5) Experimental Graphology; (6)
Pathological Writing. In actual procedure these different methods are pretty thoroughly intertwined and some violence is done to a particular treatment by twitching them apart. Nevertheless,

some schematism
i.

is

necessary.

Th^^M^Jiod^oj^Analogy. In "Breaking ground in every line of human endeavor recourse to analogy is evident. In primitive mental life we find rich material for study of the way in which many cur17

l

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
associations by simi-

ious practices
larity.

may grow up through

Wells, (note) quoting Josiah Moses, cites the following examples. "Bloodroot, on account of its red juice, is good for the blood liverwort, having a leaf like the liver, " etc. These early analogies imcures disease of the liver press us as crude in the extreme and amusing as well as inYet organization of experience is to a great consequential. degree dependent upon fusion of experiences on the basis of
;

rough and,

fined forms this

at first, superficial likenesses. And in more remethod continues to dominate thought.

general impression from reading graphological litwas that considerable appeal was made to very superficial analogies. But I do not find that I can list many such associations. I have the feeling, however, that the attribution of a given significance to a certain graphic sign was often based originally on a facile use of association by
erature
\

My

similiarity

and that the psychological grounding

is

an after-

Purely analogical, I should say, is the deduction thought. of the serpent-temperament that of the diplomat ( !) from
sinuous alignment or undulant bar of the t; and the paraland mental continuity, so that the quality of coherent thought is ascribed to the writer of a connected hand, and intermittent flashes of inspiration credited to him who indulges in frequent breaks in graphic connection. Analogical reasoning would seem to be involved in citing
leling of graphic
illegibility as an indication of dissimulation, and the production of small writing as an evidence of love of minutiae. similar kind of induction is apparently involved in the rela-

A

tion

assumed between an extensive movement of the pen-

and idealistic point above the line-heavenward as it were! proclivities, and ascription of earthly or materialistic qualit es to the penman producing long down-strokes.
;

Note:Mental Adjustments, p. 93. 2. Appeal to Psychological Principles. The literature of graphology makes frequent appeal to I have accordingly been somepsychological principles. what surprised to find that my reading has precipitated so

GRAPHOLOGICAI, METHODS
little in

19

the

way

of definite reference of graphological inter-

pretations to the specific psychology of citations are made to bear the weight of
structure.
a.

movement. A few an elaborate super-

The general tendency
is

of every psychic state to issue in frequently cited as fundamental

some form of movement

to the graphological position although a limitation to its serviceability as a principle of interpretation may be recog-

nized not only in

its

ficulty in application

extreme generality but also in the difdue to individual differences in the ex-

of dynamogeny, b. A second Jaw appealed to is that namely, that .the force and energy of movement are a direct outcome of mental energy, which is, in turn, conditioned to a degree by external factors such as external illumination,

pressive threshold.

Size of writing and temperature, writing apparatus, etc. pressure are two graphic elements interpretation of which The magnified writing is referred to this general principle. of the ambitious and the minute penmanship of the tired or cautious person are described as well as the heavy stroke
of the strong-willed and the light stroke of the weak-willed

penman.
c.

principle is the so-called law of emotional exwhich correlates centrifugal and centripetal movepression ment with joyful and depressed moods respectively. The

A "third

treatment is assimilated to much that we are familiar with in other applications of emotional expression, for instance, the Delsartean system of eccentric and concentric postures. Granting that the general assumption of emotional expression is well grounded, we find some very dubious applications of it in graphology. Mainly such application is to be found in dealing with the significance of slant and alignment. Thus
falling alignment is a symptom of depression like the dragging footstep rising alignment is indicative of hopefulness. Back-slant is symptomatic of reserve just as extreme right slant betokens emotional susceptibility and vertical writing indicates emotional control.
;

20 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
interpretation are cited by Klages. (d) he calls the law of_periodic fluctuation of attention which results in relaxation of control at certain parts of lines, words, and letters and hence makes it possible to discriminate between voluntary and spontaneous graphic traits. Klages' chief contribution, however, concerns (e) the operation of impulsion and inhibition in

Two other principles of
One

(26a).

determining certain graphic patterns. The application of such a psychological principle does not favor the mechanical listing of isolated graphic traits with their respective significance so much as it does the discovery of the possible combination of specific symptoms and their common reference to the general motor organization of the individual.

Klages also cites in explanation of certain graphic signs a law of so-called feeling for spatial analogy; the implication being, I take it, that in certain cases a delicate application of Empathy operates in determining preference for
certain forms
3.

and

slants.

Empirical Observation and Comparative Study. The empirical method consists in extensive study and comparison of handwritings. Thus the hands of persons of known common traits are compared and a conclusion drawn as to the way in which a given psychic character manifests itself in script. Or a certain grouping of hands results from one's study and may lead to a cataloguing of the mental traits possessed by the penman in order to determine whether there are any that are common to the group. Scholarly graphologists amass collections of writing specimens whidh may be utilized in the twofold way mentioned above. Thus they may institute comparison between the hand-writing specimens found in collections coming from the intellectually inferior and the intellectually superior and seek the graphic symptoms of intellectual superiority or inferiority. They may compare the chirography of criminals with that of moral reformers and so on. This method may be refined to any degree, with an application of the classic

method of agreement and

difference.

GRAPHOLOGICAI, METHODS
In any case a criticism urged by Mr. Osborn
is

21

undoubt-

edly valid, namely, that too little information is current among graphologists as to the general effect upon script of the writing system learned. These systems vary not only from one nation to another but within a given country from

one decade to another.
is

Thus

in the

United States alone
;

it

possible to trace the vogue of at least five systems the modified round ly, the old English round hand
;

namehand
;

the Spencerian system

;

the

modern

vertical

;

and, in addi-

tion, an angular style taught in schools for girls. Difference in designs of letters, difference in proportions between letter-parts, difference in slant and shading will characterize the script of those taught different systems. Moreover, mannerisms from foreign systems may cling to a style thus the influence of German script on writing is a very perceptible one. The unsophisticated observer may find striking
;

similarities

nificance

and differences in two writings that have no whatever other than witnessing similarity or

sigdif-

ference in the system of writing that was learned originally. of this masking of the individual chirography by national and epochal habits it would seem that we must seek for the distinctive graphic sign of say diplomacy or

As an outcome

candor or imagination in penmen who have learned different systems of writing or we may institute a comparison of hands for determination of a particular difference only when
confident that in general the system of writing.

penmen have learned

the

same

But there are other factors which might influence the grouping of a collection of samples but which have only a
gists are perfectly well

limited psychodiagnostic significance. The best grapholoaware of these contributing elements and have given us a more or less detailed treatment of them.

W may
like

list these factors as follows education and amount of practice in handwriting professional requirements which determine the vertical hand of the librarian, or the print:

;

A

hand of the engineer age sex word as to the significance of each.
;
;

;

fatigue

;

and

disease.

22

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

number of observations point to a fairly general recognition of certain differences between the writing of the educated and the uncultivated. The chirography of the latter

A

shows an unaccustomedness, an awkwardness, an inex-

But one canpertness that marks it rather unmistakeably. not always apply the contrasting adjectives to the hand of the educated except in so far as accustomedness is concerned.
It

too

may

be both

though usually rapid.

awkward and without grace, alThe fundamental difference grows

out of amount of practice in using the pen. Practice is evident in the greater speed and smoothness with which the graphic product is produced. There exists, however, a socalled cultured hand which indicates breeding to a very high It possesses both grace and distinction as well as degree. the facility that is the result of much use of the pen. With the increasing utilization of the typist such hands are becoming rarer and the educated man is satisfied with a scrawl as a mark of identification. Since practice is so great a factor in development of graphic virtuosity, we are not surprised to find certain lines of work leaving an imprint upon chirography. The teach-

hand is conventional. The clerical hand is marked by ease of manner, speed and greater or less conventionality. Even more conventional, very deliberate and slow is the vertical hand of the cataloguer. The telegrapher's hand is rapid, fluent, marked by a definite style and exhibiting cerer's

tain
like.

mannerisms as to the number of words per line and the Such hands are often cited in support of the position

that handwriting individuality is the product of objective factors only. Graphic virtuosity, with its accompanying

speed and satisfactoriness of outcome, is the result of corAll of us might, it is assumrect and prolonged practice. ed, acquire the rapid business hand or the artistic print of The assumption is a big one. As have been the mechanic. urged before, hands that show to a very high degree the possibility of voluntary control undoubtedly exist, but not every one can produce them. Not every one can acquire as a per-

GRAPHOLOGlCAIy METHODS

23

rapid, highly legible clerical or business hand. process of selection goes on so that the individual who finds himself limited on the side of graphAs the reverse to this ic facility drops out of the race early. we may point out the existence of families of clerks, picture one of whose assets is a rapid legible hand, pleasing I could cite many instances in the communin appearance. ity with which I am best acquainted where the easy acquisi-

manent possession the smooth,

A

tion of a ready

handwriting has been noted for

many mem-

bers of the

family, and for two or three generations. In one case this graphic ease has determined the line of work

same

adopted by

many

of the group.

Age
ing.

_

is

also _a very definite factor conditioning handwrit-

In part, of course, it is a question again of amount of With increasing age conies increased motor skill. In part, it is a question of varying degree of dominance of a hand by the conventional standards of the system learned. The young hand is less individual. In the decline that comes
practice.

with old age indicative signs appear in the writing. Loss of motor control may 'be. manifested by tremor often writing is increased in size, because of failing eye-sight or as a compensation for ataxia; there is an approximation to the
;

so-called masculine type. Very real as these symptoms are, the deduction of

age of

penman from

a given handwriting is by no means easy. Binet in his test of professional graphologists found that age could be determined with some degree of accuracy, on the

average within about ten years (3c) but that there were that gave little indication of age or even gave a false indication. I have already spoken of the curious difference in the time at which writing sets, as a family charIn the case of a late maturing or setting of handacteristic. writing we may get the impression of immature or childlike hands from specimens produced by well-developed individuals. I have long been curious as to the explanation for this late setting of handwriting. Instances that have par-

many specimens

ticularly attracted

my

attention include three cases of very

24

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
whose
in-

brilliant

young men,

gifted in law or literature,

tellectual

development has been remarkably precocious but whose hands have "ripened" very slowly. I am inclined to think that a late maturing of a hand is an indication of a "sensory" make-up; an early maturing of a "motor" makeup, a distinction to which we shall return later. Sex as a determinant of handwriting has been dealt with

some length by investigators. Mostly, graphologists are somewhat conservative concerning the possibility of deBinet's test of graphducing sex from handwriting. ologists showed that their successes in detecting sex from handwriting ranged from 63 to 78.8 per cent, and under
at

favorable conditions might reach 90 per cent (3c), figures which were confirmed by a later experiment by myself. (14c). Curious inversion of sex-signs were, however, discovered by experimentation so that many women are
culine hands

found to write hands that are unanimously chosen as masand a few men write unmistakeably ladylike

The interpretation of the situation is somewhat ambiguous, since sex in writing may be largely an outcome of social factors which emphasize neatness, grace, conventionality in the woman's hand and speed, force, and originality in the man's. On the other hand, Meumann (32) reports a masculine and a feminine type of hand, differentiated by
hands.
the appearance of characteristic pressure curves, types which if confirmed would evidence rather fundamental differences

kind of motor control. effect of fatigue and of disease upon writing opens an extensive field for exploration. Professor Janet, of up the College de France, urges that experimental graphology should begin with studies in pathological graphology, studies on the effect upon handwriting of diseases of motility and sensibility, or of specific diseases, such as those of resin

The

From the piration and of circulation. modifications of handwriting transitions
to
its

more pronounced

more

delicate inflections.

then be made This recourse to pathology

may

bids fair to prove increasingly fruitful and deserves treatment in a separate section.

GRAPHOI.OGICAI,

METHODS

25

ologist

Within these generic types as outlined above, the graphmust conduct his search for character-complexes,

guarding always not only against confusion of the generic
with the individual but also against the accidental variations that are due to purely objective factors such as writing apIt is paratus, illumination, haste, social requirements, etc. the complexity of the problem that leads many psychologists
to question the possibility of a serviceable psychodiagnosis from handwriting. They may grant the revelatory character

of movement and yet despair of any very specific utilization of it so far as writing is concerned. Yet precipitates from the extensive study and comparison of handwriting specimens by able observers certainly deserve consideration. If noth-

ing

else, their

conclusions afford suggestions for an experi-

mental program. If I may judge from my own experience, observation of handwriting results in what may be described as conceptual precipitates, composite images, very similar to the generic images of facial types. I .find myself mentally classifying hands as belonging to the "smooth flowing" type or the "labored inhibited" type or the "rapid, explosive" ty^e. Such categories have developed from my experience quite without deliberation, although I find that I possess fairly clear-cut visual images of one or two specific hands that

may

stand as representative of a particular type. My menof a hand involves its classification with a particular group. My failure to note details is surprising but in spite of it or perhaps because of it I have a rather unusual capacity for recognition and memory of hands. My composite images of hands have developed in connection with study of individuals so that as part of my classification
tal fixation

I am apt to question myself as to whether the penman in question belongs temperamentally with the group in which his writing places him. Thus the "flowing" type of hand has so often in my experience been produced by the socially

tactful, adjustable, often
ible,

charming, sometimes merely plauscreates a definite expectation.

individual that

I find it

26 GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY 0? HANDWRITING

In addition to these "generic images" of hands that have from a native interest in graphic expression, and, in part, from extensive preoccupation with chirography as a material for experimental work, I find a second factor involved in my sensing a personality from handwriting. This second factor may be described as an attempt, although not an overt one, at motor mimicry or imitative
resulted in part,
I find myself imaging kinesthetically the of movement suggested by a given handwriting. The type imitation results in a feeling of the assumption of a foreign

interpretation.

The general method is similar to an attempt to personality. get a clue concerning the permanent temper or casual mood of another by mimicry of his walk or his attitude. Whoever has tried copying another's carriage, his manner, for example, of carrying his crooked arms with elbows outspread in true Irish fashion or hugging the body in diffidence is aware how enlightening such mimicry may be. The suppressed mimicry of a graphic pattern is, of course, a much more subtle matter. In my own case it is released only by

very individual hands and only when I am in certain frames of mind. I have, however, seen such a method utilized in very explicit form by a little girl of ten years who once served

me
way

as subject. This child had recourse in the most naive to mimicry by facial expression and bodily contortion

of the handwriting she was observing. 4. The Method of Intuition. In the section on the concept of the graphological portrait we saw that there is a point at which graphologists aban-

don an analytical for a synthetic method of procedure. In dealing with handwriting as material for study I am, therefore, tempted to discuss a little more fully the opposition between a deliberate and an intuitional handling of material.
This discussion is motivated by two observations, first, the extraordinary differences that normal individuals show in their capacity to recognize and remember handwritings; and, secondly, by the distrust of the handwriting expert of judgments based on general appearance of writing.

GRAPH OLOGlCAIv METHODS

27

Binet in his investigation of the extent to which age, sex, and morality could be told from script found that such measure of success as was achieved by professionals could be approximated by amateurs. My experience with reagents in an experiment on the sex judgment resulted similarly. (14c). R, in particular a highly sensitive young woman with decided literary and artistic gifts gave Her record is very evidence of extraordinary facility. nearly as accurate as that of Crepieux-Jamin, the French exR. reported a very definite sensing of personality pert. from writing, the accuracy of which could not be tested as her help was available only for the one series of experiments. In a number of other experiments in which handwriting has been used as material a great individual variation in
intelligence,
facility in handling it is evident, quite apart from training or extensive experience with it. In an experiment in which reagents matched pairs of addresses written by a given numI found not only a wide range of variation but also an approximation of the best record by a In an experiment on disguised handgirl of eleven years. writing I found one wholly unpracticed reagent whose penetration of a disguise excelled that of very careful students of the subject. Osborn found a practical application for such

ber of penmen,
in ability

individual difference in

its

negative aspect; failure to see

similarity in handwriting often makes it impossible for a judge to follow the line of argument presented by a hand-

writing expert in court. The Osborn test for determination of what he calls form-blindness namely the search for samples of words written by the same penmen revealed a wide range of variation in individual records, namely, from 100 per cent accuracy in 8 minutes and 35 seconds to 65 per cent of accuracy in 9 minutes and 55 seconds." (36:6)

Bingham (4) reports, in comparison with other tests, a very high coefficient of variability for the Osborn test. That the amateur should so closely approximate the record of the professional points to an interesting problem, if

28

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

only the identification of a field of work in which practice effects are at a minimum. It raises the question, for a specific situation, of the value of the intuitional method. Dearborn (lib) has recently analyzed in most profitable fashion what he conceives to be involved in intuition and he has urged the psychologist to enter upon a scientific investigation of this very promising concept. Rather than approach
the problem as a variation in sex-intelligence, as Dearborn suggests, it would seem more auspicious to map out the field on the basis of different materials. Specialized virtuosity in any field and, in particular, the automatic processes of art would suggest themselves as promising material for analy-

The contributions of both original capacity and extensive training could possibly be laid bare. In experience with reagents in tests on handwriting I
sis.

my

have noted two varying tendencies one a preoccupation with graphic details, the other a preoccupation with the general appearance of the hand in question. I cannot say on the basis of the results which is generally the more successful; but there can be no question that in some instances a
;

preoccupation with details has completely blinded a reagent to very striking individuality. It is with considerable astonishment that I have observed the insensitiveness to general

appearance of certain very careful and highly intelligent reagents who compare varying details with most painful exactness and yet totally miss the graphic pattern. This point I have discussed elsewhere (14,d) but only in such a way as to set the problem. Possibly we have here an instance of judgment of general likeness (impressionistic) versus one based on specific difference. The problem involved is very extensive in its application.

Work
the

same

in systematic botany and zoology reveals, I told, sort of distinction in scientists. too-great pre-

am

A

occupation with similarities may lead to an oversight of differences that may prove basal from a classificatory standpoint, while preoccupation with differences may result in the In an experiment on endless splitting of subdivisions.

GRAPHOLOGICAI, METHODS

29

handwriting similarity and difference I sought to determine whether there existed an individual difference in the readiness with which difference or similarity was perceived. The

seemed to indicate that most reagents are able to somewhat easily from one mental set to another but that there were reagents who were actually more successful The most in maintaining one or the other of the two sets. of facility with likeness and incapacity to striking example handle differences occurred in the case of a girl whose failure in botanical classifications was in great contrast to her
results
shift

usual academic success.

The handwriting expert
trustful of a

writing.

in court procedure is most disbased on general appearance of handjudgment In study of handwriting he recommends placing
letter

word by word and

by

letter the material

from the

dis-

puted document and the possible original. His judgment is the outcome of the most refined measurement and comparison of details. There can be no question of the justness of the expert's insistance upon the methodical and exacting testing of a questioned document nor his scepticism of the unchecked and biased testimony of the average unBut it would, none the less, be of discriminating witness. value to institute a comparison under controlled great conditions of the judgment of a picked reagent based on general appearance and that of the expert based on a com-

The latter method makes possible a parison of details. simpler process of presentation of proof, although enlarged photographs might serve in the former case.
5. Experimental Graphology. Graphological exploration has not been conducted solely by empirical or intuitive methods. Actual experimentation has been resorted to, although it has only been by slow degrees that a critical understanding has been evolved as to the precise problems under consideration and the control But a gradof conditions necessary for satisfactory work. ual refinement of method of experimentation with increasing understanding of the points at issue is, of course, in-

herent in the development of every investigation.

3<D

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
Basal to every attempt at experiment has been the idea

of concomitant variation, change in writing with change in Thus the conditions under which it has been produced. concept of graphic variability is found to be essential to the

general hypothesis of grapho-psychodiagnosis

mere embarrassment

as

many

critics

experiments, as us as extremely ambitious in intention and vague in execution. (9:127f). Yet since the question at issue is that of the revelation of a personality through writing it is not surprising that early attempts at testing this assumption in the experiments conducted by Ferrari, Hericourt, and Richet consisted in seeking to determine the effect upon handwriting of suggesting successive personalities to hynotized subjects. They conclude that "the written gesearliest

The

and not a have assumed. resumed by Crepieux-

Jamin,

impress

ture

is

transformed as

is

and

that, in consequence,

it is

the gesture in general" (9:128) proved that variations in writ-

ing are a function of variations in personality. The vagueness of the conception of personality renders such experiments of little significance. In a later attempt to render experimentation more definite comes the device of suggesting to the hypnotised subject that he assume the personality of a historic character of very definite individuality. The writing produced under such suggestion may then be compared with that proceeding from the character thus simulated Crepieux-Jamin recognizing the limitations of the hypnotic method, in so far as the subject never completely loses
!

his personality, rejected the

plicated

method as unnecessarily comand used simple persuasion. The reagent, unac-

quainted with graphology, is first asked to write a given phrase in his natural way, and then, under definite emotional suggestion, is asked to write it again. The method is said to be usable only when the subject is both susceptible
to suggestion

and

intelligent.

necessary to enter upon criticism of the attempt to alter the fundamental individuality of a hand. In addition to difficulties in the way of manipulating the reagent,
It is scarcely

GRAPHOIvOGICAI,

METHODS

31

the subjective element in interpretation of results

would be

in personality actually occur, as in alternating personalities, a detailed comparison between the handwriting in the two states

overwhelming.

But where deep-seated changes

should prove most illuminating if there be anything at all in the graphological contention. But the material at hand is very meagre. Dr. Prince records instances of "Sally's She was then inability to write when badly 'squeezed.' obliged to resort to printing; sometimes both printed and written characters were illegible. Ordinarily her handwriting is like that of the primary personalities "(40:561f) De Fursac, commenting on the modifications from the normal in the case of mediumistic writing, reports that they are more apparent than real. They result often in writing being larger or smaller than the normal writing or in the slant being modified. But the modifications are for the most part said to be superficial so that it is not difficult to recognize the fundamental characters of the normal writing of the medium. Unfortunately, however, we possess only a few reproductions of mediumistic writing submitted with An extensive collection copies of the normal chirography. might prove of great interest. Experimental graphology must, however, content itself with a more modest procedure than an attempt to solve all problems by one device. It has, as a matter of fact, made slow but real progress three topics which may t^y attacking be listed as follows (a^ The limits of objective conditions as determinants of inmviduality and the specific variations for which each is responsible; The range and explana(Jb) tion for variation in the writing of a given individual apart, of course, from variation due to objective conditions and the range of variation from one individual to another; (c) The range of voluntary control, with specific determination of the graphic elements that may be easily modified and of those that resist modification. (a) It is not difficult to list objective factors which might affect handwriting but it is very difficult to determine the
:

x

32

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

range of effect. Some of these factors have already been mentioned. They include such conditions as quality of ink, quality and size and position of writing surface, fineness or coarseness of pen, objective illumination and temperature, external pressure in the maintenance of speed or
legibility,

form of movement employed,

forearm.

Our
is,

finger, wrist, or estimate of the actual effect of such factors

on writing

to be sure,

somewhat

crude.

Other factors

more

intimately associated with the penman's make-up would include influence of unconscious imitation (43 ), effect of

written content, effect of bodily fatigue and of specific drugs has reported varsuch as alcohol. (30 ) Crepieux-Jamin iations in his writing under changes in weather, fatigue, il-

lumination, visual supervision and the like. (9:136f) He has also cited changes produced by various emotional conditions.

(b) This last marks a transition to the

second
in

topic,

namely

specific

variation

under

specific

changes

sub-

jective conditions, variation in

mood, emotional excitement,

sensory control and varying degree of impulsion. In such an investigation, if anywhere, graphologists must find a justification for assigning specific significance to specific graphic traits. But variation is two sorts variation from one individual to another and variation in the written prod;

ucts of the

same individual

;

there

is

inter-individual

and
the

intra-individual variation.

Can one conclude because

writing of a given individual varies in a characteristic fashion under given conditions that one is justified in a similar interpretation of variations in different hands? The question is a vital one. To give a definite example. There can be no question that the handwriting of a given individual varies in size with change in sensory control. With increased attention to writing we get a decrease in size, except under certain conditions which need not be specified here, while with distraction of attention from writing we get magnification of script. This outcome of experimentation enables us 'to explain some interesting variations

GRAPHOLOGICAI, METHODS

33

in size of writing for a given individual but what bearing has it upon variation in size of hand from one individual The parallelism is not as simple a one as apto another?
Is one justified in concluding pears upon the face of it. that a hand relatively small is a sign of preoccupation with writing as a process and that large writing is due to autom-

atism of control? The question can be answered only by an extensive comparison of the handwriting of reagents of known mental habits. But in any case how set up a group standard for size, particularly in view of the fact of individual variation in the expressive threshold ?
If one may parallel group and individual variation, it would seem that the interpretation of the significance of size, pressure, slant and alignment should be determined by study of their variation in the individual and that the significance of proportion and continuity should be determined

by inter-individual comparison. (c) The question of the range of voluntary control for writing as a whole and for each graphic sign has been tested in the experiments on disguised and retarded handwrit-

A summary of these experiments will appear in the ing. experimental section. Suffice it to say here that, according to Meyer, such experiments enable us to determine which elements are produced under supervision of attention, which
Thus slant, are spontaneous products of motor-impulses. size, and form are found to be more artificially produced
than proportion, degree of continuity and alignment. Moreover, by noting the specific effect of increased attention upon writing which is a result of an attempt at disguise we are enabled to determine just what traits characterize the controlled hand in contrast with the spontaneous one. Size and slant, for example, are decreased in the disguised hand, and there are more breaks in continuity with an emphasis of the long down-stroke, results which lead us to attribute to such a hand when it occurs under normal conditions a higher degree of self-control (inhibition) than we attribute to larger, more inclined, more continuous script.

I

34 GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

One word more, it is not easy to say where graphological experimentation testing the hypothesis that writing may be used in psychodiagnosis ends and psychological experimentation begins. Certainly the psychology of handwriting as such should be utilized by a scientific graphology, while grapho-psychodiagnosis if ever substantiated would shall find in our become a part of applied psychology. more specific discussions considerable overlapping of fields of work. One very great difference in point of view should, however, be pointed out. The psychology of handwriting is concerned mainly with a study of the writing movement graphology is concerned with the written product. The former method is highly analytic and has worked out accurate methods for observation as detailed in the Kraepelinian studies where precise instruments for registration of pressure and speed and size are described (13:22:30).

We

;

writing movement also of instrumental technique. (16ac). Psychologists interested in such detailed analyses are apt to dismiss the graphological program as premature in its

Freeman's

fine investigation of the

necessitates a

command

interest
tually,

even if not absurdly ambitious in design. Evenperhaps, the psychology of handwriting may have something to offer in the way of psychodiagnosis. Meanwhile there
is

to be done. however, judgment must be passed practical purposes, on the graphic product, not the graphic process. This has been evidenced by the evolution of handwriting scales as a (2:46a). Nor can the utilization of pedagogical device.

much elementary work

For

writing in psychodiagnosis proceed far unless transition is possible from the movement to the product of movement. Freeman, however, is reported as directing a handwriting investigation by means of the kinetoscope which suggests far-reaching possibilities, one of which may be a convenient method of studying many individual hands in the process of

making.
NOTE

(Note.)
See Journal Applied Psychology
i,

1917, p. 298.

GRAPHOLOGICAI, METHODS
'

35

Pathological Writing. Graphologists and others interested in handwriting have j>ng realized that in pathological writing they have a fertile have already seen how Janet urged ;eld for work. of the significance of graphic symptoms jiat investigation lould begin with determination of the changes in writing mt take place under definite pathological conditions. Graphilogists have also realized the value of such material and sually include in their discussions some reference to pathoI

6.

We

i>gical

writing.

Pathologists, approaching the subject from a totally difbrent standpoint, have sought to utilize writing in differ:itial diagnosis of disease. They have had little interest in

sychodiagnosis as such they have, Trather, been searching disturbances in the writing of patients. pr signs of specific uch a collection as the most interesting one by Dr. Koster
;

|ad this

for its object. He gives characteristic hands for suffering from chorea, hysteria, senile paralysis, ementia precox, etc. (27) Clinicians who present speciicns of this sort in connection with case histories often fail
atients

make any
icnts as such
f

distinction

between

utilization of graphic ele-

and

utilization of the written content.

Often,

course, disturbances of attention, of memory, and of peech- function are evident in the written content quite

Penpart from any specific grapho-motor disturbance. ipses are usually analyzed as a product of mental disorers and not scrutinized for evidence of concurrent disturbnce of motility.

Not only do workers
nate

in this field fail at times to discrim-

between graphic and contentual disturbances but, in

eneral, they fail to realize the necessity of presenting the ormal writing of a patient for comparison with the pathoFor adequate comparison one should have a series ogical. f samples showing the progressive effect of the disease pon the writing. So inadequate, however, has been the

hat

onception of the requirements for satisfactory comparison much of the material that has been published is of very
ttle

value.

36 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

The same

situation

is

drawings. Nacke (35b) has drawn

evident in study of pathological attention to the need

of samples of normal drawings by the patient for comparison He makes the particular with pathological productions. point that inexpertness or lack of training may give a drawing an appearance of being pathological or atavistic in intent although it might be duplicated easily by drawings from the mentally normal. Nacke's strictures are worth heeding. None the less, there seems a residue from the work on pathological drawing that indicates the possibility of utiliz-

The stereotyped ing in some degree drawing in diagnosis. of the catatonics, and the symbolistic pictures productions of the dementia precox patient probably have symptomatic
value.

The application of conclusions derived from study of pathological writing to psychodiagnosis in general is not a simple one, and certainly not to be settled by a priori considerations. Whether or not pathological writing exhibits
psychomotor correspondences writ beg answered only after elaborate study.
is

a question to be

De Fursac, without attempting to pass judgment upon the outcome of graphological observation, remarks that in any case the correspondences reported for normal cases do not hold simply under pathological conditions and he presents
his material in such a

way

as to

make comparison with

the

traditional treatment of the graphic signs easy to achieve.

(18

).

Hirt (23a) makes a threefold distinction of obvious importance but one that is frequently ignored. Quite apart from physical conditions the writing-act can proceed adequately only if the integrity of the motor apparatus be preical

Hence it is necessary (a) to study the physiologconditions of writing and to note those cases of pathological writing that indicate structural changes, gross anserved.

atomical changes possibly; (b) to work out in detail the psychophysics of writing, the correlation of determined mental conditions with peculiarities of action; and (c) to con-

GRAPHO^OGICAL METHODS

37

sider characteristics of pathological writing that are more specifically psychological, independent, that is, of physiological conditions.

From

the physiological side the investigation of writing

demands consideration of the general conditions of voluntary movement and of motor coordination, including the part played in coordination by visual sensations and sensaClinical experience shows tions from the moving parts.
be brought under eye-control. only under certain conditions, as in ataxia. The writing of the ataxic, both with eyes open and eyes closed, merits careful study. The psychophysics of writing involves study of individual variations in both reflex and voluntary movements. Through observations of the tendency to and intensity of movements which a man employs in order to gain a certain end, important conclusions may be drawn relative to his personality. Individual types of behavior are to be sought in the temporal relations of movement in the writing reaction-types, where the author claims to have found experimentally a sensorial and a motor course; in pressure-types, corresponding to the senthat insensitive limbs
Skill

may

once acquired

is

lost

;

sory and motor reaction-types; in

rhythmic peculiarities;

and

in variations in rapidity of writing

and

in rapidity.

Numerous problems

are

raised,

in fluctuations for exas,

ample, the cause of the increase or decrease of writing-size when writing is produced with the eyes closed. In dealing with mental diseases that are characterized largely by mental symptoms, Hirt appears to find a point of departure for the characterological study of handwriting. "How discriminate with security," he asks, "the writing of a maniac or melancholic from that of a motorly excited or motorly inhibited man?" In the majority of cases, pathological writing is differentiated from handwriting marked by personal peculiarities only by the heightening of such Such comparison of the handwriting of tempeculiarities. peramental and insane subjects raises a question which psychiatrists are
still

debating, the existence, that

is,

of certain

38

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

make-ups which are basal both to character varieties an anomalies, and to specific forms of insanity which may n suit in case of strain. (33:42). In any case it is urged by competent authority, in agre< ment with the experimental psychologists, that the stud of pathological writing should not be based on observatic of the graphic product but that there should be regressic

movements of the p: are under investigation. It is thought that: sue utilization of writing-movements may have actual diagno:
to analytic registration of the graphic
tients

who

tic significance.

CHAPTER

IV.

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS.
In order to confine our discussion to certain definite issues us now consider a few interpretations that have resulted And in order as a precipitate from graphological analysis. to give these interpretations background let us attempt a comparative survey by means of which we may bring into relationship the different possible methods of approach.
let

Our procedure

will

be as follows.

Out of

the myriad in-

tricacies, the subtle distinctions, given us in the treatises on the subject we will choose a few graphic elements and subof ject them to definite scrutiny from the following points

view: (i) the graphological; (2) the pathological (follow(3) that of the handwriting expert (foling de Fursac) lowing Osborn) and (4) that of experimental investigation whether motivated by graphological or psychological We will carry our schematism so far as to attempt terest. tabular summary of this comparative survey. ;-; The graphic elements chosen for such exploitation are the following: (I) Size7 or dimension; (II) Pressure and
;

;

line-quality;

(III)

Direction, including slant

and

align-

ment; (IV) Continuity; (V) Proportion. Some violence is done the graphological position by an undue simplification
of
it but a certain amount of simplification the interest of a clear-cut presentation.

is

necessary in

i. i.

Graphic Dimension.

In this presentation we will limit ourselves largely to discussion of letter-size. The graphologists tell us that a "big" hand is a sign of imagination, or ambition, or pride.

The

particular form that ambition or pride may assume will be determined by the general setting in which size is only one element. Minute writing is a symptom of preoccupation with minutiae of finesse of miserliness or, sometimes,
; ;

myopia.

Again, the general setting 39

is

important.

Varia-

40 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
tions in size are also significant; diminution in size as writing proceeds indicates ambition or ardor that plays out ; in-

crease indicates

waxing ardor.

of whether letters shall be considered "Miniscules" large or small offers considerable difficulty. less than two millimeters in height may, however, be cited
as small;

The determination

and

capitals that are less than eight millimeters.

capitals that are

run above three millimeters are big and high. (Note) Often, graphologists appear to utilize the capitals alone as
Small
letters that

more than twelve millimeters

sufficiently indicative of character traits.

In this connec-

tion they also make much of the variations in form of the capital and the possibility it offers for excess decoration.

on feeling for

characterological interpretation appears to be based size as contributing to prestige; the more "consequential" a conscious state is felt to be, the more im-

The

petus toward "large" expression. Is increase or 2. Let us turn now to pathological writing. decrease of graphic dimensions indicative of any particular The dimental condition? De Fursac writes (18:13f) mension of letters is in large measure a function of the
:

psychomotor

Psychomotor exaltation activity or energy. or hyperkinesis manifests itself under two different forms which may be combined in variable proportions, increase in rapidity of the graphic movements and increase in the extension and energy of these movements. Specifically, so far as extent of movement is concerned, we find that augmentation of extent of movement leads to an increase in
thz height of letters.
clearly evident

The extent of such magnification is the normal writing of a patient is compared with that produced in a state of maniacal excitement. Increased rapidity of writing as shown by timed records is
when
also

an outcome of such excitement. The relation of such When increased speed to amplitude is of great interest. increase in rapidity does not exceed certain limits it remains
Cf. Graves, S. M. "A Study of Handwriting," Journal of Educational Psychology, p. 483-494.

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS

4!

compatible with increase in the height of letters, and amand speed are associated. But when speed becomes very great the inverse phenomenon occurs, namely, a diminution in size of letters, a diminution which may result in
plitude

words being reduced to vague undulating lines, Often in the same specimen we find both manifestations of hyperkinesis, increase in height and diminution of movement due to excessive speed.
certain

quite illegible.

of psychomotor activity manifests itself, diminution in the height of letters, conjoined not with increased rapidity but with retardation of the Specimens are given of such decrease graphic movement.
in general, in a
in size

The enfeeblement

under conditions of melancholy depression. (18:15) Sometimes a sample of writing from the same patient shows great variability in size. Fatigue, for example, may lead to writing that becomes progressively more diminished in amplitude, while under the influence of automatism writ-

ing increases in size, a fact strikingly evident in stereotypy. Extreme variability in size may be the outcome of variation in speed or it may be determined by diminution in the power of attention.

(18:19)

Specific mental disorders furnish examples of such shifts in size. Thus the writing of the dementia precox patient

be normal in size or very large or very extenuated depending upon the dominance of automatism or hyperkinesis or fatigue. (18:151). Even the manic does not always produce greatly magnified writing; sometimes irregularity in size is more characteristic than is increase in dimensions.

may

(18:198).

may

Very great decrease in size from the normal occur in the case of melancholic depression, such de-

crease being greater in spontaneous writing than in writing under dictation, because of the greater mental effort involved in the former case. But, as before, irregularity in size

(18:21 If.) on pathological writing are in pretty fair agreement with de Fursac. Both Koster (27) and Hirt (23a:399) reproduce specimens showing magnified writing
Other
specialists

testifies to

the disturbance of attention.

42

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

when the patient is in his manic period and very minute writing produced under conditions of depression. Decrease
through fatigue is substantiated. Koster reports, an increase in size of writing resorted to in an unconscious attempt to mask lack of motor control a device that I have noted in elderly people. Gross (22:498), following the more exact technique of the Kraepelinian investigations, found retardation of speed, reduction in size, and sub-normal pressure during depresin size
also,

sion in circular insanity. Writing characters became progressively smaller instead of showing the more normal in-

crease in size. In mania, Gross reports that results were less clear-cut. With rising excitement there was, however,

a tendency to increased speed, increased size and increased
pressure.

Hirt (23a:397f) reports: The melancholic patient enters upon the writing act with great slowness and with anxiety. The stroke of single lines is at times surprisingly weak and the letters not seldom exceedingly minute. The maniac, on the contrary, seizes the pen boldly and dashes off the given

On the mental side proposition in large energetic strokes. the melancholic gives a picture of inhibition, pedantry, anxthe maniac exiety, poverty of thought, self-depreciation
;

hibits

want of consideration, thoughtlessness, incoherence,
Letter-size, the expert informs us,
is

self-exaltation.
3.

largely dependent

upon the writing system which has been learned.

Varia-

tions in this respect are not significant in identification of writing unless they are extreme. Many external factors in-

fluence letter-size.

the fineness or coarseness of the writing will influence the size of graphic product. Often, too, the amplitude of the sheet upon which one writes is a significant factor. Everyone produces a microscopic hand in addressing a doll's envelope, and a large one in labelling an express package. It is fairly

Thus
is

pen with which one

easy to alter size voluntarily and within wide limits.

THE GRAPHOLOGICAI, ELEMENTS

43

Spacing, Osborn tells us (36a:149) "is mainly changed by the slant of the upward or connecting stroke," a habit which is also dependent upon the system of writing which one has learned. The old round hand and the modern vertical show greater compactness than a Spencerian hand. 4. Size, together with speed and pressure, is a graphic element that has been subjected to considerable experimental observation. The Kraepelin studies (13:22) have given particular attention to it and Freeman (16c) has contributed
a detailed analysis. There are some interesting relationships observable be-

and speed. A graphic rhythm develops in which an attempt to keep the time element constant for a given form even under changed conditions of size. In general, we find increased size correlated with increased speed
tween
there
size
is
:

also progressive increase in size as writing continAs attention ues, closely related again to developing speed. is withdrawn from there is an increase in size, parwriting
is

there

automatic writing. Writing that is produced with the eyes closed also shows, normally, an increase in size, although there are many exceptions to this statement. Decrease in size of graphic movement is an outcome of
ticularly evident in

*

lessened speed or of increase in speed. It occurs, in general, whenever effort is involved in handling the situation. The direction of attention to the writing

INTENTIONAL

movement
size,

as in disguised writing leads to a decrease in although this tendency may be overcome by voluntary increase of dimensions and in exceptional cases the slow writing approaches the conventional standard and therefore

becomes larger. Cutting through these results we find, moreover, small Illiterate writing as an outcome of graphic expertness. writing is large because of lack of motor control. All of the above statements, it should be observed, refer
directly to

we

changes in the extent of graphic movement when are dealing with a particular individual under given ex-

44

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

perimental conditions. To what degree we are justified in attempting to apply any of these experimental findings in an inter-individual comparison of hands is very doubtful.

An

dicate general

extremely large and free hand may, however, infreedom of impulse while an abnormally

hibitory tendencies which

small hand would lead to suspicion of the presence of inmight vary considerably in nature. Small writing may be due to excess of control or to economy
;

of effort as an outcome of practice and skill it may indicate self-consciousness and inhibition or it may evidence expertness.

Dearborn (11, a) in a series of experiments in which a figure was learned by motor tracery found that concentration on the conscious movement-sensations led to decreased extent of movement. He concludes that the conscious movement sensations are inhibitory in function. There are, he thinks, two phases of kinesthesia, one unconscious and actuating, the other conscious and inhibitory in function. From this it may follow that large writing is, in general, produced by the less controlled, more automatic penmen, while small writing is indicative of concentration on the writing move-

ment

or,

perhaps, on the external product.

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL
of
or

45
tse

3
ns
occurs

ed
ra

rected

SI oS a n
a

III
W>

sat ^
fl-C

?s

ojivS

o

S

is

gSSgS|5-|
ei

j| J|4|a|l-U o^<u^s.,-3fl j
f;

i||I *=JI 2

.52

oJ)-" a> O.

W^-?-H

III II 111 1 11 a

46 GRAPHOLOGY AND TH
2.
i.

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

Force of Movement; Pressure, Line-Quality. The particular graphic quality with which we are

dealing in this section is somewhat difficult to define. The reference is to intensity or strength of movement as indicated by heaviness or delicacy of the line-quality, its smoothness and regularity. Involuntary placing of emphasis, as

distinguished from conventional

shading,

is

in

question.
to be that

The general graphological assumption appears

strong firm heavy lines are the outcome of actual pressure against the surface of the paper and that this, in turn, is an expression of strong will-impulse. Force of will is deduced from emphatic and firm movements weakness of will from delicate and tremulous line-stroke. Transitional forms oc;

cur; persistence is shown by regularity of pressure; spurts of energy and force by abrupt pressure. The club and staccato strokes as they appear in the crossing of the "t" or in punctuation marks are thought to be significant. The explanation for such interpretation is cited as selfevident; namely, that strength and energy of will express themselves in forceful and energetic movement. It is, however, observed that heavy wide lines in contrast to fine tracery are not always the outcome of resolute movement. The writing materials, such as the consistency and quality of ink and quality of ink and of paper, the kind of pen used, and the
position in which it is held, obviously condition line-quality. very thick stroke points to materialism; while a writing in which there is no distinction of ground and hair stroke

A

(the so-called "teigig" or "pateuse" hand)
suality, a love of physical pleasures.

indicates sen-

for connecting materialism with unusually heavy stroke is not given it is, probably, purely analogical. Preyer states that the interpretation of the "teigig" hand is supported by experience but that the explanation is in doubt. The explanation sometimes suggested is that such a writing is produced by holding the pen at a very low angle with reference to the paper and that such holding of the pen is itself indicative of indolence and relaxation.
;

The reason

THE GRAPHOLOGICAI, ELEMENTS

47

iations in

, From the pathological standpoint we are told that varmotor energy are reflected in thickness of strokes

but in very different forms, depending upon pathological condition. Hyperkinesis produces, in general, "weighted" writing, the result of which is an increase in thickness of stroke. The pressure is often so great that the pen pierces the paper. When, however, speed passes a certain limit,

such pressure

is

less evident.

Dimunition
:

in

energy of movement

may have

contradic-

tory effects it may result in writing that is abnormally heavy The former result appears or in an excessively fine stroke. when both reflex and voluntary reaction are enfeebled as in
epilepsy
;

the latter

when

the psycho-motor inhibition affects

voluntary contractions only, as in melancholia (18:15,89). Variability in pressure may result from failure to graduate pressure in consequence of attention so enfeebled as to fail to distinguish between the principal and the accessory lines.

(18:89)
Gross, from actual registration of pressure, reported sub-

normal pressure for the graphic movements of patients in the depressive period of circular insanity (22:498). In mania there appeared great fluctuations in pressure often extreme pressure was associated with extreme speed and size as a manifestation of rising excitement. (22:509).
;

Osborn's discussion of line-quality and pressure is enLine-width is dependent to a great extent upon pen-position. A nearly vertical position gives a fine line of nearly uniform width without shading and with a tendency to a broken effect. It is usually associated with finger movement. nearly horizontal position gives a broader line, with frequent shading, and is often associated with free arm movement. Pen position "can be determined by the location of the emphasis of shading." Because of variation in pen pressure on the nibs of the pen we get, when writing is viewed under the microscope, three classes of writers:
3.

lightening.

A

"those
left,

who make

on the

right, or those

the majority of pen strokes rougher on the whose strokes show uniformity

48 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
right slant writing more frequently shows an excess of roughness on the right and lower side of pen strokes" "The character and extent of the roughness of the line edges

-

are greatly changed by changes in the character of the surface of the paper, in its sizing, and in the materials of which it is made. The result is also affected by the character and
condition of the ink used and by the rapidity, direction, and weight of the stroke." (36:131f.) The involuntary placing of emphasis is one of the most personal characteristics of writing and one that "almost
baffles

simulation."

"The weight of hand, graduation of

pressure, and placing of emphasis radically change the appearance of a writing as a whole without changing the form
in

any way," (36).

There may
is

result a

hand that sug-

the record of rapid, nervous movement shown in irregular broken lines or one that shows in the heavy, ragged, uneven line lack of skill and constant
gests strength, one that
;

variation in pressure.

which writing

is

free

Pen pressure reveals the degree to and unconscious or labored and halting.

4. In the experimental investigation of writing, distribution of pressure in graphic movements is one of the prob-

lems which has been attacked by the Kraepelinian methods. Gross reports a distinctive curve for every subject tested but warns the reader that this curve can be detected only by instrumental analysis. (22:555). Diehl reports that light

For pressure and high involuntary speed may coexist. example, practice leads both to acceleration of graphic speed and decrease in pressure. increase of

VOLUNTARY

accompanied by increased pressure. The relationship between speed and pressure is somewhat indirect; increase in pressure is due to increase of effort of will (Antrieb
speed
is

or Anregung)

;

zeal for

work

is

indicated by rising pressure

pressure

Hirt's investigations (23a:370) indicate that writing obeys certain fundamental physiological and

It increases (i) in a given direction psychological laws. of movement; (2) under influence of rhythmic tendencies;

TH

GRAPHOLOGICAI, ELEMENTS

49

movements (final em(3) at conclusion of a series of It is, however, impossible to determine variations phasis). in pressure from bare observation of writing-product. Only
in part does
it

parallel thickness or

width of line-stroke.
line-quality
is

Such divergence between actual pressure and

involved in the structure of the pen-point, since strokes which are perpendicular to the transverse of the nibs of the in pen are necessarily heavier than those which parallel
direction the moving pen point, even though the pressure be the same in the two cases. Apart from general laws governing pressure, individual

differences are apparent in the distribution of pressure.

Two

main types are observable, correspondent to the motor and sensory reaction types. The first or motor type makes the writing movements in one impulse; the second, or sensory The impulses of the type, fractionate these movements. motor type are simpler, more continuous, more uncontrolled than those of the sensory type. The first make movements the second, signs. Writing size, duration, speed, and presAt the sure vary from one part of manuscript to another. beginning, writing is proportionately small, slow, and weak As writing continues there is an increase to a in pressure. maximum. Each line is a unit in itself as well as a part of
;

a bigger whole.

Fluctuations in pressure give evidence of The attempt to produce writing of fine quality causes more than the usual fluctuation in speed, size, and pressure, for attention is on the form of the indi-

renewed will-impulses.

vidual letter.
as
it is

Writing becomes more uniform in proportion allowed to proceed automatically. (23a:383) Meumann on the ground of difference in degree and distribution of pressure distinguishes three types of writing
characteristic of

men, women, and children respectively. of attention upon writing movement causes an increase in pressure as is evident in disguised and retarded script, and, in general, increase in effort means in-

The concentration

creased pressure.

50

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

S,fJ

of
'

S?ils &8 sl Sl?ISIfl2!
9"

TO lllfpg

nils |1' 8*11 * si*

w

S

2

.

g||o

Illl^ll
S

|

|| ||g

TK'

O

O

S5

-

^

CO

ftraS

O

-.

0,

ft

gg

IlII il

il

THE GRAPHOUJGICAI, CEMENTS
3.
I.

51

Direction.

A. Slant.

interpretation of slant is pretty uniSlant to the right is natural and spontaneous. The degree of slant indicates impulsiveness, emotional susceptiVerbility the greater the slant the greater the emotivity. tical writing shows self-control, with the head ruling the heart. Back-slant is indicative of diffidence reserve, a

The graphological

form.

;

,

masking of the self, which may be carried so far that it shows disguise of the self, or even deceitfulness. Excessive slant to the right is found in the chirography of novelists, artists, and women. Verticality characterizes the writing of scientists and thinkers. Actors, diplomats, politicians may slant their writing to the left, and such slant may also
be indicative of pathological hysterical tendencies or of criminal tendencies. Great variability in slant is thought to show variability of mood. Extreme right slant may indicate pathological lack of control. Three suggestions are found in the literature of the subject as to the possible explanation of the correlation of slant with various emotional temperaments.
(a) Preyer's (39) explanation is the common one. Natural writing slants towards the right as shown by the re-

version to such slant on the part of those taught a vertical system. Vertical and left-slanted writing demand more time and effort than natural writing and, therefore, indicate control and inhibition of natural impulses. Such writing is
Vertical writing may have been evidently self-conscious. acquired during school years, but is usually replaced by a more rapid form of writing except in the case of those inhibited individuals who refuse to permit themselves to follow natural impulses and who continue to obey the compulsion
of school or other authority. Back-slant is taught in no school and utilization of such an uncomfortable method of

writing shows impulse toward concealment or repression, or it may indicate vanity.
ciple of expression,

(b) Schneidemiihl (42) has recourse to the general prinnamely, that friendly, objective interests

52

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

are manifested by centrifugal outgoing gestures and attitude; and the erect, or withdrawn, posture is expressive of emotional withdrawal or reserve. In other words, slant to
the right

or

likened to eccentric attitude or gesture vertical and concentric posture. (c) Klages (26a) utilizes the principle of spatial Einfiihnatlung in his characterological interpretation of slant.
is
;

left slant to erect

A

ural slant to the right is not considered significant but the production of a vertical hand is held to be indicative of
stability

and self-control inasmuch as

it

reveals a feeling for

space symbolism which associates fixity and self-mastery with erect position. Back slant is cited as a sign of extreme emotionalism with actual repression, rather than as an indication of extreme coldness of nature as many graphologists
think.

The graphologists cite as evidence of their contention specimens of writing from persons of known characteristics. The prettiest bit of evidence is furnished by Preyer who claims that with advancing age and the loss of emotive susceptibility, writing formerly slanted shows a tendency to become vertical. His material included two thousand letters

from his father which showed in their sequence an increasing verticality. Furthermore, Preyer cites a case of slant shifted towards verticality during a period of stress demanding self-control and concealment on the part of a young woman of his acquaintance, a verticality preceded and followed by slanted writing. 2. De Fursac tells us that slant is often modified in pathological writing, the normal inclination toward the right be-

Someing replaced by vertical or back-slanting writing. times this modification is systematic; the patient seeks to At other disguise his hand or give it a touch of originality. times, generally when there is weakening of attention, such In general, slant is shifts in slant are transitory and casual. variable in all conditions in which attention is proextremely foundly disturbed. Great variability in slant from right to
vertical

and

left is cited as characteristic

of writing produced

TH
in the

GRAPHOIyOGlCAL ELEMENTS

53

post-paroxysms of epilepsy, and in the hyperkinetic manic-depressive insanity. that slant 3. The handwriting expert (Osborn) reports is very largely due to the system of writing that is learned Moreover, such mechanical factors as the genoriginally. eral position of the body with reference to the writing surstate in
face, the position of the paper on the table, and pen-position The graphologists recognize, of course, are influential. such factors but consider them accessory rather than basal.

In
in

this

connection

one

may

quote

from

Freeman

(16,d:130) "Irregularities

in slant are

due

to the fact that

making succeeding strokes the hand or arm is not in the same position. Sometimes the variations in position and the accompanying shifts in slant occur frequently and at irregular intervals and sometimes the slant is uniform for a number of words, or even lines, and then there is a sudden change. There is also one other type of change in slant which is due, paradoxically, not to a change in the manner of holding the hand or arm but to the maintenance of the same position. This is the increased slant which occurs at the end of the line." 4. Considerable experimental work has been done on slant of writing. McAllister estimated from actual experiment the speed of movement in the different quadrants and found
;

movement to the right is more rapid than vertical writ"Free full foreing and that left slant is slow and difficult. arm movements in a horizontal plane are made more rapidly
that

towards the body than away from it, up strokes taking more time than down strokes." Overestimation of (45:76) distances arises from increased muscular effort and irregularity of slant may grow out of conflict between eye and muscle sense. Experimental graphology has shown that in attempts at disguise of writing, shift of slant is one of the first points
of attack, the common shift being, of course, from right slant to a vertical or back-slant. In general, increase of attention to writing results in less slant

from the

vertical.

Starch

54 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
(43,a) demonstrated that unconscious imitation operates to change slant when one is writing from a copy. It would seem as though evidence were pretty complete that vertical writing, print, and back-hand are slower (Note), less natural and comfortable than a slant toward the right. Verticality and back-slant indicate greater motor tension,

much

So greater conscious control, with evidence of inhibition. The real question is why anyone writes is plain. these hands when he might embrace the greater graphic comfort of a natural hand. Vertical writing has, of course, been taught at various times. It is, also, the accepted style
those

But the natural inclination for a vertical hand is to modify it as acquired soon as pressure is released. Retention of vertical habit would evidence a conventional, controlled type of person
for certain professions.

who have

who
script

follows the prescribed path.

Occasionally,

vertical

might be adopted by one who had been otherwise taught, through an impulse to imitate or because its legibility makes strong appeal. Whether vertically is ever adopted because of spatial symbolism is an interesting question but one not easily answered. Why, however, does anyone write the awkward and uncomfortable backslant? This style is taught in no school and is advocated by no system of writing. It might originate, of course, through imitation and quite possibly it may be at times expressive of affectation and self-consciousness. But that these explanations are not sufficient in all cases is evident from reports from individuals who write a reversed
hand.

ed

this

hand

Quite often they report that they deliberately adoptto relieve the strain experienced when writing a
script. in its production,

more usual type of
Another factor

which has never been canvassed, is its relation to ambidextral tendensufficiently cies. Definitely left-handed persons often write very fluent
The investigation of Graves (loc. cit. p. 490) does not confirm this statement so far as back-hand is concerned. He found back-hand most rapid but least staple of all slants.

NOTE

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS

55

to

right-slanted script, but shiftovers who have been compelled change from the major to the minor hand, and those with

a tendency to ambidextrality show signs of lack of smooth coordination in writing or have recourse to a drawing movement which results in print instead of cursive script. SomeIn a times the ambidexter indulges in reversed script. number of instances I have experimental evidence of ambidextral tendencies in the writers of a back-hand. Further-

more, in connection with measurements on bone lengths of right and left arm, I found that of fourteen individuals

whose measurements gave little difference in bone-length for the two arms, five wrote either a completely reversed hand Two others, who or gave numerous reversals of slant. wrote a reversed hand, gave only a moderate difference in arm measurement. I have never found but one individual
writing reversed script strongly unidextral.
It is difficult to

who proved by

tests

to

be

very

make any connection between such

observ-

ations as the preceding,
gists.

and the teaching of the grapholo-

Yet a connection is possible provided that unidexand ambidextrality are correlated with different temperamental types, which correlation if found to be a fact would find its ultimate explanation in the somewhat different functioning of the nervous system in the two instances.
trality

56 GRAPHOLOGY AND

THE PSYCHOLOGY 0? HANDWRITING

!
CM

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rticul

II
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THE

GRAPHOI/DGICAI,

CEMENTS

57

B. Alignment. Variations in alignment are also correlated by the graphologists with general temperamental traits or with
I.

emotional fluctuations. Rising alignment indicates optimism, self-confidence, or ambition falling alignment, pessimism, depression mediated by outer conditions, or sickness. Convexity and concavity of line indicate waxing and wan:

ing ardor, that fluctuates as work lines evidence suppleness of mind,

proceeds.

Serpentine
falsity
;

skill in finesse,

serpentine words, quick sensibility, agitation, nervousness. Modifications of these traditional interpretations appear in the standard texts. Preyer, for example, fails to find ser-

pentine alignment in the writing of

many

and diplomatists and, on the other hand, discovers

clever politicians it in the

writing of many persons who are totally devoid of such a make-up. Nor does Preyer find straight alignment correlated with equability of temperament. The explanation suggested for the graphological interIn joyous excitepretation is that of emotional mimicry. ment there is an inclination to raise the arms upward, in The sad let the arms fall. But Preyer general, to aspire. observes: "These and also many other mimicry signs have

only a superficial analogy."
tion to the fact that

(39:185)
in writing

He
is

also calls atten-

upward or downward alignment is in reality centrifugal or centripetal movement; only when writing on a vertical surface do we
called

what

largely

movement. Preyer accepts, on empirical grounds, the traditional assertion concerning rising and falling alignment and instances differences in alignment in a letter of condolence from that in a
actually get rising or falling
letter of congratulation.

The bar of the "t" furnishes another example of alignment, and the interpretation of an up-stroke, a down-stroke, a serpentine stroke and the like is the same as for direction of line of writing. In this instance, however, alignment is
complicated with variations in extent and force of stroke.

58

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

2. DeFursac, commenting on alignment in pathological writing, remarks that one might expect that pathological conditions would have the same graphic expression as the correspondent normal states, that in the maniac pride and self-exaltation would produce rising lines and that humility

and discouragement would
ing alignment.

in the melancholic produce fallUnfortunately the case is not so simple. It is, he asserts, impossible in the present state of our knowledge to determine any constant or necessary relation beThe tween alignment and mental disturbances. (18 )

following observations are, however, justified: are significant from the motor side 1 i ) Undulating lines
of incoordination of movements and from the psychic side of feebleness of attention. in (2) Falling alignment is seen often (but not always) conditions of motor weakness, in particular in the post-

paroxysmal exhaustion of epilepsy. (3) Rising alignment appears in the writing of certain patients who through lack of initiative fail to give their paper the desired inclination and permit their hand to move in an automatic fashion. Rising alignment in such a case is usually combined with a curved form of the line. (4) The curved form of the line is associated with the
undulating in certain maladies that are characterized by automatic reactions, notably in the case of the catatonics. The forearm remains immobile the hand moves around the
;

(18:llf.) or Specifically, in general paralysis lines are often more less undulating, due both to enfeeblement of attention and

wrist as a center.

motor incoordination. Falling alignment frequently occurs in melancholic and depressive forms of nervous disease but In dementia precox, the direction of there is no fixed rule. lines varies from a perfect horizontal in some to a rising or of falling alignment in other cases without any possibility establishing a relationship between the direction of alignment and the clinic character of the disease. (18:147)

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS
In

59

manic excitement,

also, there is

no constant relation-

Rising alignment occurs but so also does ship of alignment. horizontal and falling alignment (18:197), a statement

which also holds true for melancholic depressive insanity.

(18:211) of 3. Osborn finds that alignment is largely the result pivotage of movement. The writing of the illiterate usually shows an up-hill tendency. The "arm is so held that the center of motion is so far to the right that as the hand moves
along it is inevitably raised above the general line of writ(36:121) Perfect alignment results when the elbow ing." is the center of lateral movement and the arm at right angles

With the wrist as center of motion to the line of writing. there may result lines of writing equal to short arcs of a
circle
rest.

representing the reach of the hand with the wrist at Most uneven alignment is due to the fact that the
too far around to the right or the paper too far to Deviation from alignment in individual letters is

arm
the

is

left.

often due to the design of letter acquired first learned.
4.

when writing was
to report.
It

From

the experimental side there

is little

would appear from Woodworth' experiments (48 ) that vision functions somewhat in control of alignment and results obtained from writing when the eyes are blindfolded confirm his conclusions. Often a loss of alignment is the only noticeable result with loss of visual control.
Writing disguise affords little material so far as alignment is concerned. Alignment is an exceedingly variable element and one which can be manipulated with ease. It would, perhaps, seem on general principles that falling
alignment might be cited as evidence of inhibitory tendencies and Klages in fact lists falling alignment as one characteristic of the inhibited hand. In experiments of my own on retarded writing a decided fall in direction appears as one out-

come of excessive

control.

frequently encountered in the literature of experimental graphology that the contents of an emotionassertion
is

The

60 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
al letter

or other manuscript influence alignment.

Such

re-

ports are of little import in the form in which they are given for there is no narration of the conditions under which such

epistles

observations were made. Comparison of alignment in of contrasting emotional content emanating from
different penmen is of dubious value unless one have, also, specimens of the normal writing of each. In this instance

intra-individual variability under prescribed conditions is the point at issue rather than inter-individual variability.

The problem
it is

is a difficult one to attack experimentally since not an easy matter to tap emotion for experimental pur-

poses.

have tried the following test. First, I obtained from a of subjects specimens of their normal writing on the blackboard and determined the error in alignment. Then at short intervals I have had memorized and written sentences
I

number

two or more lines each (i) prophesying a gloomy outcome of the world war; (2) suggesting encouraging prospects in the war situation; and (3) commenting on certain amusing aspects of food conservation. Precautions were taken that the first and second sentences should be written at the same height and relative position on the board and that the lines should be approximately of the same length (one meter). Using the natural writing as the standard of comparison (in every case there was falling alignment) I
of

found that out of
subjects) the
in

fifteen items (three

averages each for
in

five
fall

gloomy content resulted

an increased
;

alignment twice out of a possible five times the cheerful content in a decreased fall in direction or even in rising alignment seven times out of a possible ten. The subjects were, of course, absolutely unaware of the purpose of the
test.

They were
somewhat

adults seriously interested in the

war con-

ditions.

A

similar experiment with students, but less

gave increased fall with gloomy content three times out of a possible four and one rise in the
satisfactorily controlled,

THE GRAPHOLOGICAI, ELEMENTS
contrasting test out of a possible six.
conclusive.

6l
results are in-

Such

II, observations are reported on variability in and alignment under normal changes in mood. Anticipating conclusions, I may say here that there was some evidence of increased slant and unstable alignment under

In Part

slant

heightened emotional conditions but that these modifications were so deeply embedded in general slant and line variabilResults ity as to make practical utilization very uncertain. suggest de Fursac's report with reference to alignment in pathological writing. Under hyperkinetic and hypokinetic conditions alignment departs from the horizontal but with
little

consistency as regards direction. undulating lines are recorded.

Rising, falling and

62 GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

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Ilia

t

THE; GRAPHOLOGICAI,
Continuity.

ELEMENTS

63

4.
i.

The

we may

call continuity,

traditional interpretation of the graphic sign that or the degree to which letters are

connected within words, is that connected script is symptomatic of a deductive habit of thought, and a broken or disconnected hand of an inductive habit of thinking. Careful reading, however, indicates that the terms inductive and deductive are not to be interpreted in the technical sense in which they are used in logic. The adjective "deductive" seems to imply a practical realistic type of mind in The " deductive" contrast to a visionary theoretical type. thinker does not originate ideas but is thoroughly well able to assimilate and turn to good account the ideas of others; he exhibits a high degree of practical judgment and is interested in application. In general, he may be described as

The "inreasonable, systematic, methodical, and prosaic. ductive" thinker produces original ideas which are the outcome of his intuitions and his lively imagination he is theor;

rather than practical, visionary rather than logical. His feelings overbalance his judgment.
etical

Preyer (39:138f) gives us a fivefold division of hands on the basis of degree of connectedness as follows: (a) Pure "intuitive" hand, every letter detached, breaks sometimes
occurring within letters symptomatic of originality, fertility of thought, one interrupting another no time taken to follow any to their logical consequences. Cited as the handwriting of such men as Chautaubriand, Victor Hugo, Mazzini, Verdi.
;
;

(b) The hand that is more intuitive than deductive, symptomatic of a mind that is productive of new ideas, reasonable or not, with greater inclination to follow now one idea now another than to compare ideas in a logical manner, (c) Equal number of united and disconnected letters, symptomatic of possession of new ideas and capacity to unite them logically union of idealism and realism enthusiasm for the
;

;

new and

appreciation for the old; union of judgment and imagination balanced intellectual type. Within this group, however, there appears a subgroup in which the breaks
;

64 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
within words occur in an illogical manner separating the into bizarre combinations of letters, a trait which is cited as significant of impracticality. (d) If the hand is primarily a continuous one with few breaks, the penman is thought to possess the gift of synthesis with capacity for

words

proper appreciation of new ideas. This is the writing of scientists and statesmen who excel in organization, but are accessible to new ideas, (e) The completely continuous hand, every word written without raising of pen, words bound together by the stroke of the "t" and the like, is

who

thought to characterize the hand of the assimilative type is neither critical, original, nor ingenious.

Schneidemuhl, who cites this interpretation from Preyer, accepts it only with considerable reserve since his own observations fail frequently to confirm it. This much, however, he concedes, that the writer of the "deductive" hand
coordinates and renders coherent the material with which he
deals.

Preyer's ground for such characterological interpretation would appear to be empirical, just as Schneidemiihl's disI have found in these sent is based on specific observations. authors no psychological ground for their interpretation. Crepieux-Jamin cites the "hachee" hand as indicative of intuition but also on occasion as evidencing anguish, or circulatory troubles. The connected hand he finds significant of natural activity and of culture, or of precipitation and
flight of ideas.
2.

Turning now

to de Fursac's treatment of graphic con-

tinuity,

we

found, on deprived of regularity and harmony, particularly in patients who are afflicted with trembling, and, on the other hand,

find that disconnected or even "hachee" script is the one hand, when movements are hesitant or

when attention is profoundly disturbed. When associated with tremor, discontinuity may be the natural outcome of an attempt at simplification of movement. Script very much tied together is often produced under conditions of extreme excitement. Not only the letters of the same word but the

THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS

65

words themselves are joined. This tying together of words be the outcome of excessive rapidity. But pathological writing shows no greater extremes of continuity and dis(18:28) continuity than does normal writing. A more or less connected script instead of broken writing may occur in conditions of depression and motor enfeeblement, in which case failure to raise the pen is due to lack of energy sufficient to accomplish this movement. Sometimes

may

in

the paper

very great affective melancholia the pen loses contact with and causes a break even within letters. (18:221 ;

213)
3.

For

Osborn writes largely a matter of expertness. who write clumsily or with difficulty the pen

the handwriting expert the degree of continuity is "With those
:

is

raised fre-

quently to get a new adjustment with most writers, however, disconnections are more closely related to design of letters than with movement, and the habit controlling this
characteristic

were acquired when writing was

first

learned."

(36:121)
4. From the experimental side there is little one can say about continuity. There is plenty of evidence to show that, in part at least, a flowing connected hand is the outcome of graphic expertness. Many breaks in writing may be significant of nothing more than graphic unaccustomedness. Klages shows, further, that breaks in writing may result

ing.

from motor inhibition and from excessive attention This appears from study of disguised and

to writartificial

One may, voluntarily, introduce breaks into writing but it is impossible to will extreme continuity. Release of the motor impulse causes increased continuity while inhibition results in decreased continuity.
writing.
;

any connection whatever between these observations and the traditional interpretation by graphThe onlv ologists of the significance of graphic continuity. possibility of alliance would be found in the determination of a possible relationship between attention types and a conIt is difficult to see

last

nected or disconnected hand.

66 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY Of HANDWRITING gi
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g

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THE GRAPHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS
5.
1.

67

The

Proportion above and below the base line. authorities are somewhat at odds in their interpreof the significance of relative proportion of
strokes

!ition

ibove

and below the base line. Two traditional views emhasize two related but somewhat distinct interpretations. A

1

up-stroke is correlated by the first with predisposion for mental activity and a long down-stroke with a preThe second point of for physical activity. isposition iew states that the long up-stroke signifies idealistic make(the real p, impractical and out of touch with reality orld) and the long down-stroke preoccupation with things Balanced proportion denotes power of organizalaterial. on and administration. Both Preyer and Schneidemiihl are- sceptical of the tradi-

mg

r

;

Preyer finds in his collection of specimens lumerous examples of short upstrokes among penmen fol:>wing intellectual pursuits from motives distinctly not maHe has, however, more faith in the deduction i;rialistic.
jonal beliefs.
f

lack of foresight

xnplete,
is

and circumspection from very short, inand attached down-strokes. Schneidemiihl from study of specimens is inclined, on empirical grounds
a correlation of decreased clown-stroke with

nly, to assert

npracticality, lack of foresight, irresolution,
le
\v

and

failure in

execution of details.
the base-line

Normal extension above and

be-

seems symptomatic of practical sense. He '.utions, however, conservatism in such application and notes lat there has as yet been no psychological grounding sugested for such an interpretation.
2.

g

'Pathological writing affords little information concernthe trait in question. One outcome of a hyperkinetic

mdition appears, however, in exaggeration of terminal ops, of capitals, and in excessive prolongation of moveents of adduction. 3. In the general analysis of graphic elements by the exrelative proportion is cited as very simply dependent x>n the system of writing learned. The Spencerian syswas organized on a scale of fifths the vertical system
~rt,

m

;

68

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

Prior to the adoption of modern Spencerian, other proportions existed in relative height of small and loop
in thirds.
letters.

movement

experimental work has been done on ease of McAllister body as a center. found that "Free, full forearm movements in a horizontal plane are made more rapidly towards the body than away from it, up strokes taking more time than down strokes."
4.

Some

relative to the

(45:76)
In disguised handwriting we find considerable attention given to relative proportion as of considerable importance in identification of a hand. While changes in absolute size are

very easily produced voluntarily, certain changes in relative proportion are maintained only with the greatest difficulty; increase in the length of the up-strokes, for example. Increase in length of the down-strokes, particularly in terminal loops, may, however, be imitated with considerable ease.

Hands vary considerably in amount of difference in extension of small and lower loop letters. Very extreme inequality is usually found in minute writing, an inequality which Klages (26:37f) considers evidence of the presence of strong inhibitory impulses which operate in keeping the

'

minimum

letters small.

Very long "long"

letters in small

script are interpreted as the

outcome of intermittent freeing

ble to

of the motor impulse. From Klages' standpoint it is possimake a connection between lack of circumspection and the short down-stroke.

GRAPHOLOGICAL

69

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70 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

The preceding survey impresses one with
that

the difficulties
It
is

must be compassed by a scientific graphology. that gests a program for preliminary exploration
whelming.

sugover-

Any

attempt at present to utilize graphic prod-

ucts in psychodiagnosis would seem futile except that in many instances a variation which in itself has little signifi-

cance acquires such through its association with other signs It would seem which suggest the same motor pattern. control possible to detect in certain hands signs of inhibition,
or retardation.

Slow and interrupted movement, small

size,

vertical or back-slant, great inequality in length, and unevenness or heaviness of pressure point to inhibitory tendencies.

Light rapid continuous rhythmic hands, slanted strongly in It is, the direction of writing, evidence lack of inhibition. of course, possible to grant so much and yet deny all char-

Graphic habits acquired in youth be sufficient to account for the free or inhibited pattern. may But that habit is not all-sufficient as an explanation seems evident from the following. Pathological writing under conditions exhibits in the hyperkinetic hand an prescribed
acterological significance.

exaggeration of the explosive or free hand. Moreover, the changes introduced into the writing of a given individual under conditions of increased control or mental effort
ic

encourage the interpretation of certain signs as symptomatof control and effort in general. In Part II, we shall report a number of experiments that bear upon an attempt to interpret the significance of explosive and inhibited hands.

Part

II

CHAPTER

V.

DISGUISED HANDWRITING.
In our previous discussions
to refer to the significance of

we have had

handwriting disguise.

frequent occasion Let us

now envisage the subject at closer quarters. The determination of the extent to which handwriting may be disguised is a problem of considerable importance
from
at least

two points of view.

On

the one hand, as a

standpractical problem, of great interest from the legal it arises in connection with the imitation of the writpoint,
ing of others in forgeries that are not traceries and in the "masked" writing of the anonymous letter. On the other hand, from the psychological or theoretical side, the range

and method of handwriting disguise is, as we have seen, of significance in connection with the utilization of handwriting
n psychodiagnosis. Our concern is, of course, with the second of these two In passing, however, it should be observed considerations.
hat the handwriting experts have much to say concerning he difficulties involved in the identification of handwriting

and the determination of the original of a disguised hand. They insist upon the need of cautious procedure; they list he sources of possible error and they warn against the ac;

ceptance of the unsupported opinion of the incompetent and untrained witness. Mr. Osborn writes, (36;c) "There are

wo main
forgery.

questions that confront the examiner of an alleged The first of these is how much and to what extent

nay a genuine writing diverge from a certain type, and the second is how and to what extent will a more or less skillful forgery be likely to succeed and be likely to fail in emBodying the characteristics of a genuine writing." These two questions (i) of the limits of variation in a natural hand and (2) of the graphic characteristics that may or may not

72

GRAPHOLOGY AND THI) PSYCHOLOGY Of HANDWRITING
first

be easily assumed are of
cal side also.

importance from the theoreti-

significant item of difference between the emphasis of the handwriting expert and that of the psychologist should, however, be noted. The expert approaches the problem

A

largely from the standpoint of the degree of credibility of the witness testifying in court concerning the genuineness of

handwriting.
ther back

psychologist would press the matter furif possible, the reason for the great individual differences that exist, apart from training, with

The

and determine,

Furthrespect to observation of handwriting individuality. ermore, he is most curious concerning the varying capacity for disguise exhibited by different penmen and the mental temperament that lies back of virtuosity in the assumption of different handwriting individualities. Lastly, he would ask what the psycho-physical factors are that determine the ease or difficulty with which different graphic elements may be voluntarily altered. The problem of control in handwriting, which we have

emphasized as a basal one so far as psychodiagnosis is concerned, centers about two problems both of which are open to experimentation The extent to which disguise of ( i ) one's habitual handwriting is possible and (2) the extent to which voluntary control is maintained in conventional writing as evidenced by the changes that take place in automatic writing or writing under distraction. In everyday life an
:

obvious indication of this latter change is the difference between writing furbished up for state occasions and writing designed for domestic purposes, in negligee so to speak. In ordinary writing, control becomes progressively less rigid as one becomes interested in the content of what he is writing or as speed of writing increases. The first half of each word, the first half of a written line, and of a manuscript give evidence of greater control than does the second half. The significance of this variation in conscious control, so often emphasized by graphologists, need not detain us here. Instead let us turn to the problem of voluntary disguise of

handwriting.

DISGUISED HANDWRITING

73

For

scientific

purposes one strikes the problem at close

quarters by an experimental treatment such, for instance, as that of Dr. George Meyer. (34a) Meyer approached
the question from four different angles ( I ) Which graphic characters can be repressed voluntarily? (2) Which can be assumed voluntarily? (3) What is the result of a delib:

erate attempt to disguise handwriting? imitation of another hand possible ?

(4)

How

far

is

obtain an answer to question I, a large number of subwere asked to write as calligraphically as possible, in true copy-book style of the school-room. Normals were also obtained for comparison. To obtain an answer to
jects

To

question
ters

2, definite

variations in particular graphic charac-

were asked for from twenty-five different reagents. Question 3 was answered by asking subjects to disguise their
question 4 by asking for imitation of specific hands. methods of intentional disguise employed by unsophisticated subjects, Meyer was able to draw some interesting conclusions concerning the graphic elements that are least subject to control, which in the main are precisely those to which the average observer pays least attenwriting
;

From

his study of the

tion.
I have notes on an experiment of my own similar in purpose to that of Meyer but developed in a somewhat different

manner. I asked twenty- four unsophisticated subjects to write a given verse on an unlined sheet of standard size and quality in their usual manner. I then requested each of them to rewrite this verse on a second similar sheet but disguising
their

handwriting as far as possible.

No

instructions

were

given as to method of disguise. Each subject could take all the time and pains that he cared to in the disguise, which was prepared away from the laboratory. In selecting my With reference to subjects I choose twelve of each sex.
fell into two groups also, twelve under twenty-six years of age and twelve over thirty. The younger group was, with one exception, composed of college students; the

age they

74

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

older group, with three exceptions, of University instructors, Four of the latter were psychologists. Such a selection of
subjects was dictated by a desire to see whether age and sex were factors governing success in disguise. The degree to

which a given disguise was held to be successful was determined by the submission of the series of disguised and undisguised writings to sixteen reagents for matching and the counting of the number of times a disguised specimen was correctly matched with the undisguised specimen written by the same penman. The material obtained in this manner was worked over with the following questions in mind: (i) What methods of disguise were utilized by the group of subjects? (2) To what extent were the individual attempts at disguise effecdetermined by the percentage of failures on the part of the judges in identification of the disguised hand? Were the younger penmen more successful than the older ones in disguise? Was there any difference in the percentage of
tive as

successes of

men and women?

In an attempt to answer the first question, out of almost numberless observations that might be made relative to

changes in the graphic characters, tabulation was limited to the obvious shifts in size, slant, pressure or line-quality, form, continuity, alignment, connecting-stroke, relative proportion,

and

i-dot.

See Table

I.

DISGUISED HANDWRITING

75

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M I 7
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X

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76

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

A

word

of

desirable.

A

comment upon each
change in

size of writing

of these chosen elements is is a frequent out-

come of

disguise, a decrease being

more common than an

in-

crease in size of letters.

mens no

in fact, in the given specicase of increased size comparable to the extremes of
is,

There

The decrease in size of letters is usually accomdecrease. panied by greater compactness in texture leading to a compression in the horizontal extension. This same compression appears also in a few cases in which the writing is increased in size but, usually, increased amplitude is accom-

panied by a looser texture.
shift in slant was also noticeable in the disguised hand, Such usually in the direction of the vertical or backhand. a change is one that readily appeals to the unsophisticated,

A

although handwriting individuality

is

but

little

dependent

slant of writing. The degree to which pressure varied in the natural and the disguised hand cannot be told with any degree of accur-

upon

acy from the written product.

Experiments on pressure

demand, as we have
in a large

seen, actual instrumental registration.

Certain changes in line-quality were, however, very evident number of cases. In a majority of specimens this change is in the direction of a heavier line. I do not find, unfortunately, a record of how many of my subjects used a
different style of pen in attempting to disguise their hands, but in any case it is unlikely that such a shift accounts for the uniformity in direction of change. In consideration of variations in letter-form, the writingspecimen was scrutinized to determine whether on the whole there was simplification or conventionalizing of the natural

hand or whether the reagent attempted to disguise his hand by the employment of superfluous ornamentation or fantasRecourse to a conventional vertical hand or to tic forms. is one of the most effective means of disguise but it is print more difficult to achieve than a hand decked out with all

manner of superfluous curls. It demands more consistent motor control. The tabulation given overlooks the many

DISGUISED

HANDWRITING

77

details of form that would be so carefully noted by the expert in attempting to prove or disprove the genuineness of a given writing. Individual mannerisms, tricks of style, are often revealed in the form of individual letters and one of

most interesting questions involved in disguised handis the extent to which a penman is aware of his individual peculiarities and the consistency with which he is able to avoid tell-tale mannerisms. Such observation does
the

writing

however, lend itself to tabulation. Changes in capitals easily achieved than changes in small letters they are made with a higher degree of consciousness. A change in alignment occurs frequently but without much
not,

are

more

;

uniformity as to the direction. The degree of continuity in a given hand is one of its most distinctive marks. This character is held to be very
largely dependent upon the general smoothness and regularity of the motor impulse, a matter, to a considerable degree, of the original constitution.

A

break in continuity

is

much more

easily initiated than is increased continuity, as a It is a much more simple outcome of intentional inhibition. difficult matter to release deliberately the motor impulse and

so increase the degree of continuity. Changes in the form of the connecting stroke occur fre-

quently, more commonly nection than the reverse.

from an angular

to a

rounded con-

size of writing is easily shifted, relaproportion of parts is pretty constant. The latter depends upon periodicity of effort which is rooted in constitutional rhythm. There are, however, a very great number of possible observations relative to proportion, among them the following: Relative proportion of strokes above and
tive

While the absolute

below the

relative size of one-space and three-space horizontal and vertical space relations of the one-space letters, relative proportion of capital and strokes above the line. It is much more difficult to vary some of
line,
letters, relative

these proportions than others. For example, from my results, it appears that a change in the relative size of the one-

78 GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

space letters is not infrequent, while changes in the relative proportions of up and down strokes is less often observed. An increase in the relative length of an up-stroke is said to be particularly difficult to achieve and my specimens show only two cases in which such a change was evident. An increase in the relative length of a down-stroke is much more common, and, in general, an increase in difference in length is twice as frequent as a decrease in difference in length. The mannerisms exhibited in dotting the "i" are very constant.

This i-dot
its

may

view;
left

localization, that
its
;

be observed from three points of is, the distance it is placed above

the line

and

of the "i"

position directly above or to the right or the secondly, its form, which varies in an ex-

traordinary number of ways from comma-shaped to wedgeshaped, not to mention its size and, thirdly, the time of its making, immediately after the letter itself or after the word
;

One would need to watch the or line has been written. while writing in order to establish this latter habit. penman In the disguises I collected, there are no obvious changes of localization in the placing of the dot, although in several specimens there is great variability in the natural hand itself.

So

far as

form was concerned there were several

de-

Bizarre substitutions were liberate attempts to vary it. I am adopted, such as the circle, or a v-shaped figure. inclined to think that two or three of these changes were

motivated by a knowledge on the part of the penman of the fact that the dot of an "i" is most characteristic. Some of the changes just mentioned are deliberate, a revelation of what the subject believes to be characteristic
of handwriting.
scious awareness of

The more constant a mark, the less conit. Of these deliberately sought shifts,

some are easily manipulated, slant, for example, and change Others are handled with greater difficulty in absolute size.
because of their dependence upon psycho-physical factors, Still other changes as, for instance, degree of connection. are dependent upon the general instruction to disguise the hand and are not directly willed by the subject nor even

DISGUISED
noticed by him.

HANDWRITING

79

Such are the three general symptoms of disguise: (i) Instability, (2) Signs of Tension, and (3)
Inner Contradiction. Let us be more specific. Absolute size is easily changed But not all changes in size are to be attributed voluntarily. Increased attention to writing results in to direct volition. decrease in the size of writing and in increased pressure. The uniformity with which changes occurred in these direcis, then, in part at least, an outcome of effort of attenand not wholly a product of intention. Increased size, on the other hand, may result from discontinuity of the motor impulse so that each letter is written as a separate One would expect to unit rather than as part of a word. find this increase in size in disguises in which attention is concentrated upon variation in the form of individual letters. Frequently, breaks in connection between letters would also result from such a break-up of the motor impulse. Alignment and the shape of the i-dot may be deliberately varied if one chance to know his own mannerisms and if

tions

tion

tion.

he can hold his attention consistently to the detail in quesDetails of form are very hard to change, particularly in the middle and at the end of a word. The style of a capital is not hard to shift. The results of this canvass of the methods utilized in disguise of hands agree very closely with what has been reported by Meyer as the outcome of his investigation and with the scheme adopted by the Berlin police in their indexing of handwriting specimens as part of their system of identification of criminals. In this latter system the characteristics of handwriting are arranged in a descending scale

beginning with the elements that are most easily altered and ending with those that are least subject to change. The order is as follows (26a)
:

Size

Pressure

Emphasis of the under stroke Ataxia (unformed and trembling writing)

80 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
Verticality

Compression
Slant

Width
Increase in proportional length
Simplification

Ornamentation
Disconnection Connection

Emphasis of the upper stroke

Form

A
that

of the connecting stroke Decrease in proportional length Change in single forms
further point of interest
is

a comparison of these shifts

accompany an

effort to disguise the hand, with con-

centration of attention
that are the

ing and, in

upon the act of writing, with those outcome of distraction of attention from writsome instances, of completely automatic writing.

The shift in size that is significant of automatic writing has been somewhat thoroughly discussed in another connection (14a). Increase in size is a general outcome of increased automatism, just as decrease in size is an effect of concentration of attention upon writing, unless the latter result in a complete dissociation of letters and a distinct motor impulse for each. decrease in pressure is also an outcome of automatic writing but less evidently so than the increase in

A

Completely automatic writing results apparently in is more continuous than the usual writing but in case of incomplete distraction there would be alternate fixasize.

script that

and release of attention with, probably, increased discontinuity. Changes in slant do not occur in automatic writing as they do in disguised hands, although there seems to be in some cases a tendency to greater verticality. Changes in form are in the direction of disorganized or child-like
tion

hands.

Between the two extremes of voluntarily disguised writing and writing produced without conscious supervision lies

DISGUISED

HANDWRITING

8t

It is the ordinary writing with which graphology deals. Periodic evident where one should look for lapse of control. fluctuation of attention enables us to anticipate the fall of

mask at various points. In ordinary writing there is heightened consciousness and hence greater control (i) at the beginning of the activity, inscribing, for example, the first page of a manuscript, the first word of a line, etc. 5(2) after interruption of the writing activity by paragraphing or punctuation marks; (3) at variation in the form of the acControlled writtivity such as the production of capitals. ing is smaller, more vertical, and more regular than unconthe
trolled writing, that is, the same signs appear as in disguised writing but in less pronounced form. Conventional restraint becomes progressively difficult as speed of writing increases. With deepening interest in content, writing becomes freer and bolder. Every prolonged piece of writing shows the shift from conscious to involuntary control, and
in this fact the graphologist finds

an opportunity for observation of certain characteristics of the motor impulse. Let us turn now to the second question, the success of a
disguise as determined tration of the disguise.
the individual

by the

failure of the judges in pene-

But before entering upon the question of the success of penman, a word concerning the varying skill of the sixteen judges. The range in success runs from only
one correct identification of the twenty-four specimens of disguised hands to an accurate pairing of eleven specimens (a record made by a bank cashier). The average number
of correct identifications (and the median record) is six, or twenty-five per cent. About half of the judges were taken from the college community which produced the disguised hands, and, in some cases, they recognized a number of the natural hands. This familiarity with the natural hand increased slightly the number of correct identifications. There exists, however, a
very great individual
difference
in

the

ease with which
in the

handwriting

is

recognized even

when undisguised and

82

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

with which handwriting specimens by the same penbe paired. For ten of my judges in this test I have record of their success in the matching of undisguised hands. The group is too small to be of much value but the results of the two tests give a positive 'coefficient of correlation of .41 (P.E., .18).
facility

man may

The outcome
distrust

of this aspect of the experiment justifies the on the part of the most careful handwriting experts

of the opinion of the ordinary observer as to the genuineThe chance of error is so great that ness of a given hand. the judgment of the amateur can have little weight, although, obviously, the opinion of one may be worth more

than that of another, a matter which could be determined only by a controlled test. Certainly the confidence with which a witness or a reagent in the psychological experiment expresses his opinion bears little relation to his value as an observer and might be most misleading in a trial in
court.

Such strictures against handwriting-identification on the part of the amateur only 'serve to point the value of the work of the expert, with his instruments of precision, his microscope, his enlarged photographs, his multiplication of
observations, and his knowledge of where to look for significant variations.

Three of the judges who took part in the test on disguised handwriting were given a second trial at matching after an explanation had been given them concerning the significant features of writing individuality. They were advised to ignore changes in size, slant, and form of capitals. Their increased success was as follows: (A) from nine to twelve correct identifications; (B) from six to nine; (C) from five
to eight. So far as the individual disguises are concerned, some were much more effective than others. Three hands could

scarcely be called disguised since they were correctly paired by almost every judge. Of the other twenty-one, four were so well disguised as to wholly elude capture. Eight were identified by only one or two judges each.

DISGUISED HANDWRITING

83

The

three

who

dividual hands.

fail completely at disguise write very inTheir failure was evident to themselves

to mask their writing Of the four completely sucgreater success. cessful disguises, one is a semi-print style; another is a most clever imitation of a friend's hand included among the specimens, with which it is matched by four different

and they made subsequent attempts
without

much

judges.

Two others show very great shifts in slant and size, changes which however easily manipulated seem quite efThe more confective in deceiving the ordinary observer. ventional and immature hands that approximate a given system cause considerable difficulty in the test.
Calculating the percentage of actual identifications, on the basis of the possible number, for the groups of older and younger subjects respectively (twelve each), we find

it

34 per cent, for the older group and 18.3 per cent, for the younger. The three reagents who completely failed to disDropping guise their hands all belong to the older groups. these out and recalculating on the basis of actual to possible identifications we find the percentage of successful identification for the older

group

is

17.4

and for the younger

18.3 per cent.

Calculating the percentage in the same way, but with a on the sex basis (twelve each), we find the percentof correct identification is 22.5 in the case of the age
division

women and 30

per cent for the men.

the three subjects

who

failed so signally at disguise

Again dropping out (two

women and one man) and recalculating, the percentages run 10.3 per cent for women and 24.7 per cent for the men.
Our numbers are too small and too greatly affected by individual records to be of great value but so far as they go they indicate that women are more successful in disguise than men, and the younger penmen more successful than the older. All of the four subjects whose disguises were not
penetrated were

women (one from the older group, three from the younger). Of the eight specimens recognized by only one of the judges, four were written by men (three of

84 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
the older, one of the younger group) and four by women (three of the younger group, one of the older). The best records, so far as disguises are concerned, are made by the

of the younger group, particularly those writing an immature hand, is not necessarily due to the asreturn to the sumption of another graphic individuality. conventional system would cause a confusion of such a specimen with others similarly motivated. In a personal letter in which he comments upon the specimens used in the present test, Mr. Osborn writes me "Writing by those who have not long been doing writing outside of school is bound to be simliar in many ways and when such writing is disguised its individual features may be modified and its general features remain, which would tend to connect specimens Yet this is not the whole written by different writers." In a few disguised specimens there is, very evidently, story. the assumption of a distinct, yet different individuality. The most interesting disguises are those in which there occur such curious changes in style. Some of these disguises come from the older group and lead to the conclusion that an effective disguise is much more a matter of the individual constitution than of age or even sex. It has been held that ability to shift handwriting individBut we have as yet no uality is akin to ability in acting. analysis of what traits characterize the dramatic type, al-

young women. The success

A

:

though Holt suggsts (25:35) that "The actor's is merely the excessively mercurial and labile character." From my

knowledge of

my

much

facility in the

subjects I should say that those showing adoption of another chirographic indi-

viduality, were, in the main, much There is, pHable, than the others.

more

adaptable,

more
rather

a girl striking exception to this of the younger group is very visual in type and talented in drawing and fine handicraft. She took pleasure in pro-

however, one This reagent statement.

ducing for
she
is

me an amazing

variety of hands.

Personally,

of a distinct and

somewhat

inflexible individuality

DISGUISED HANDWRITING

85

who yields slowly to social pressure. She is artistic, rather than imaginative. Four of the subjects in this test were also reagents in my
experiments on control processes in handwriting (R, B, S and D) (14a). For these I have a fairly complete analysis

Of the four, two (R of their general procedure in writing. and B) were highly successful in their disguises and two
(S and D) were inapt. in spite of the fact that she
points in chirography.
It is certainly significant that the alignment of these subjects in the test on handwriting disguise tallies with that found in the earlier experiment. and belong to the socalled "motor" group; and S to the "sensory." Charac-

D

was particularly poor and that was probably more aware than
tell-tale

any other person who attempted the disguise, of the

R

B

D

of the first group was the high degree to which writing was turned over to automatic control; characteristic of the second was the maintenance of conscious writing
teristic

control, usually accompanied by a vivid sense of kinesthetic sensation. For the latter there is consciousness of muscu-

writing and evidence of motor inhibition. For two the act of writing is successfully organized and the motor impulse smooth and effective. (14a:14o f.) Interpreted on a conventional habit-basis one might perhaps expect the first two subjects to be less expert than the other two in disguise of the hand. But undoubtedly our conventional views of habit need reconstruction, especially along the line of ease in habit-breaking and the relation of this to the mental organization and constitution as a whole. Very possibly the cue to the interpretation must be sought in the smoothness, effectiveness, and lack of conflict in the motor impulses themselves, which would facilitate both habit-formation and quick readjustments.
lar effort in

the first

A dramatic reaction to the instruction to disguise one's hand, in which one initiates and then yields confidently to a graphic-motor pattern somewhat different from his habitual one, is more effective in disguise than is an effortful dis-

86 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
integration of graphic details, with a constant effort at inhiThat both kinds of disguise may be sucbition of habit.
cessfully

achieved,
it

is,

however, evident.
conceal
its

Psychologically

and

practically they are of differing interest.

The

effortful

disguise, although

may

source effectively, will

give evidence of not being a natural hand by inconsistencies, by retouching, and by the presence of fantastic forms. This type of disguise is, possibly, that most often found in the anonymous letter. The dramatic disguise will be less evidently a disguise and in its most successful forms points to an interesting mental type. It occurs in certain forms of
forgery.
shift of

that Klages cites versatility in the hands as characteristic of the fluidic personality. Indeterminate personalities have less to control or conquer.

Meanwhile we note

split

is evidence of histrionic ability or of the personality of the hysteric. The subject is worth investigation both in connection with a study of one type of crimthe forger inal and investigation of the hysteric temper-

Graphic virtuosity

ament and of the double personality. Several possibilities of application suggest themselves in connection with the utilization of writing in diagnostic tests.

CHAPTER

VI.

INTRA-INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY.
In the preceding discussions

we have had

frequent oc-

casion to emphasize individual variability in writing. The following study seeks to investigate the range of such variation in the writing of two subjects (I and II) and, in particular, to correlate variations in alignment, slant, and size

with changes in emotional conditions. The material was gathered in the following manner For four months (October-February, 1913-14), in connection with another piece of experimental work, my collaborator and myself kept a daily handwriting record under standard conditions. At approximately the same hour of the day, usually at the same laboratory desk and with a pen of standard number, on a sheet of a given size and quality we (i) recorded the name, date, and pulse-rate; (2) wrote a paragraph on weather conditions; (3) gave a description of our physical condition; (4) recorded in detail our mood; and
:

(5) summarized our interests for the day, rating the strength of each on an arbitrary numerical scale.

Our general problem was the gathering of material for a study of fluctuation in interests and in general patterns of consciousness. But I wished also to secure a standard series of writing specimens for analysis of graphic changes correlated with variability in condition. At the time, however, I
with reference to the paremotional variability, a condition which enhances the value of the
hc.d in

mind no

definite questions

ticular points

to be studied in connection with

material for the present purpose. The series afford excellent stuff for such a study as I now wish to make, for the mood records of both subjects show considerable variation. There are, however, different factors concerned in the two.

87

88 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY Of HANDWRITING

For Subject I, the period under study proved to be one of very great emotional stress and strain, highly depressing in nature. On two occasions there occurred objective shocks
of considerable intensity. Subjective fluctuations were also recorded. Periods of great absorption and interest in work

were described and some of restless excitement but gay or happy moods were rather infrequent and in intensity were not comparable to the contrasting moods. The physical condition was poor, inducing rapid pulse, nervous irritability, and motor incoordination. For Subject II, the mood changes were largely conditioned by varying physical conditions. The usual condition was one of energy and high interest in work, with occasional

Three fatigue and lapse of interest in things in general. periods of low physical vitality were recorded, one incident to an attack of la grippe, the second an outcome of vaccination,

the third the effect of an accident.

A

characteristic

report of Subject II was the more or less periodic appearance of a day-dreaming mood, subjective in tone, pleasant,

and accompanied by relaxation. A vacation period of ten days was toned by a sentimental and highly pleasurable mood. My general procedure in checking over records was as
follows Under the appropriate date I listed the description of the physical condition and of the mood; I also listed the pulse and energy record, although I found these less comI measured in millimeters and enplete than I would wish.
:

my tabular summary the horizontal extension of each autograph, the height of three capitals in the name, the height or length of one three-space letter, and the slant of these same four letters. There are ninety autographs available for Subject I and one hundred and two for Subject
tered in

The specific ways in which this tabulation was utilized become apparent as the report develops. Alignment was estimated in the following way: I measured with care the departure from the horizontal for the particular line on each sheet which recorded the mood,
II.

will

INTRA-INDIVIDUAt VARIABILITY
choosing
this line

89

because

if

content influences alignment,

as graphologists report, it should most typically represent This line was written about midthe condition for the day. of the sheet another reason for choosing it as repreway

All the record sheets were of the same size x 13.9 cm.) but on account of variability in marginal spacing there are some slight differences in line lengths. After measuring the departure from the horizontal of the
sentative.

(21.5

line in question a general estimate of the tendency throughThe measurements out the whole record was obtained. throughout are somewhat crude but probably sufficiently acmore accurate measurecurate for the purpose in hand. ment of writing amplitude by means of the curvimesser is in

A

progress.

According to graphological tradition, alignment is determined to a large extent either by general temperamental tone or by the mood dominant at the moment of writing. The
straight line characterizes the person of equable disposition ; the up-tendency appears in the writing of enterprising, hopeful, optimistic penmen; and down-alignment in the productions of those of generally pessimistic inclination or of temporary depression, physical or mental. Cases are cited in

which great variations in alignment result mood. Slant is also cited as dependent upon emotional instability. Size, so far as related to mood, would show increased amplitude in energetic, hopeful states and decrease in size in depressive states. To determine whether the mental condition had any effect
the literature in

from

shift in

lation of

upon these three graphic elements, I checked over my tabumoods and selected, wholly at random, six for each subject, under the three following descriptions:
I.

emotional toning to consciousness. Neutral. Consciousness toned with gayety, happiness. III. Consciousness toned with depression, melancholy, or
II.

No

physical sickness. Only five entries under the second rubric
ble for Subject
I.

were discovera-

90 GRAPHOLOGY ANt) VHE PSYCHOtOGY 0^ HANDWR1TINC

INTRA-INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY

O &

o.S

o o vo *c o

*

JBJUOZUOH

-f

+

4-

>

i H

Q

a2

%

15 1 .-T'

OJ

92

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY of HANDWRITING

Tables II and III summarize the results. Size and slant measurements were made on the autograph as explained
above.

Under

whole name is entered; under height the ers of the measurements on the four chosen
slant the average degree of slant

extension, the horizontal extension of the in millimet-

SUM

from the

letters; under vertical for the

chosen

letters.

interesting facts emerge from study of the individual records. First, that of great variability in all the ele-

Some

ments measured. Thus for Subject I, length of name ranges from forty- four to eighty-three millimeters extension of the first initial from ten to twenty-nine millimeters average slant on the chosen letters from sixteen to forty-two For Subject II, the length of name ranges from degrees. fifty-three to one hundred and ten millimeters, extension of
;

;

the initial capital

from
less

five to

twenty-six millimeters; and
five to nearly fifty-three de-

average slant from

than

Both penmen show, I suspect, an unusually extengrees. sive range of variation for the traits measured. Both show on occasion a tendency toward excessive left for I toward the right for II.
;

slant;

toward the

The

tabulation of the specific records indicates that results

from Subject II ofler some confirmation of graphological principles. Average extension, height and slant are all increased in a pleasurable state whether comparison is instituted with the products of the neutral state or with those of depressed conditions. Not only is this true, but, further-

more, depressive states also show, in conjunction with decrease in amplitude, an increase in slant as compared with the neutral, quite in accordance with graphological expectation.

Alignment presents

less

straightforward results.

In

general, Subject II produces a very irregular alignment. One can assert this much only, that there is a trifle greater

tendency to up-alignment when consciousness toned than is the case otherwise.
Results from Subject
I

is

pleasurably

stance the records produced in the neutral

are very different. In this inor objective-

INTRA-INDIVIDUAI, VARIABILITY

93
;

minded
is

states
little

exceed the others in extension and slant
is

there

very

difference in result between depressive

states.

Alignment which

and gay normally rising shows a con-

siderable inclination to fall in depression. There was undoubtedly some difference in the significance of the so-called neutral state for the two subjects. For I, the real contrast between the first and the other two conditions is expressed by the terms Objective- Subjective (possiThe objective state of mind bly extroverted-introverted). is characterized by intense interest and absorption in work;

unemotional but probably pleasant and is more characby energy than the contrasting states are. For Subject II, the opposition is between indifferent and affectively toned states of mind. States of great interest in work and
it is

terized

of physical energy are happy states. Depression is, usually, For both subjects, however, a rethe outcome of sickness. lationship exists between energy and the resulting graphic

With high energy there expression. crease in scope of movement.

is,

in general,

an

in-

Anticipating a distinction to be emphasized later, we may say that Subject II writes a typically explosive hand, large, light, rapid, centrifugal, tied together, with excess of occasional movements and little distinction in proportions. Subject I writes an inhibited hand, small, somewhat slow, centripetal and broken, with great distinction in relative proportions. Alignment is the contradictory symptom in each of these hands, since I shows a tendency to rising alignment and II a tendency to falling alignment. Release of

tension such as occurs in states of unself-conscious absorption in work shows in I's case in the production of a hand

more explosive than
and continuity.

usual, increased in amplitude, speed, Attention is diverted from the graphic product. II, naturally of a more objective mental set, exhibits under pleasurable excitement increasing impulse but under depression, restraint of movement. While such results are of very great interest they suggest from the practical side the difficulty inherent in any at-

94 GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

INTRA-INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY

95

tempt at utilizing size and slant apart from an understanding of the particular case involved; only under prescribed conditions can increase and decrease of size and slant be
revelatory.

Fluctuations in alignment offer

still

greater

difficulties in interpretation.

As

a second

method of

terial for tabulation,

testing the records, I selected mastarting not from the mood-side but

the highest

from the measurements I had listed under extension. I took and lowest ten per cent, of these measurements.

Table IV. gives the tabulation with correlative data. This tabulation reveals little more than the earlier ones. As before, a greater agreement with graphological principles is manifest in the record of Subject II than in that of SubBut the records of both subjects show numerous exject I.
ceptions to the general point of view. and there is an active, working, happy

When

energy
is

is

high

mood, there

a ten-

dency for Subject II to produce magnified writing but the same tendency is evident in nervous cross moods, and in the relaxed condition incident to day-dreaming. Subject I also, when nervously "on edge," indulges in excess movement. It appears from the figures that increased slant and increased horizontal extension are pretty closely associated, an association which one might anticipate on mechanical grounds
since the

degree of inclination of the connecting

stroke

would greatly influence the extent of territory covered by
question suggests itself as to the of untangling this mechanical relationship in Just at present, however, we graphological interpretation The record of are not called upon to attempt such a feat. Subject II affords, however, some interesting examples of
the graphic product.
possibility
!

A

slant

and extension

in

depression writing

may

mechanical opposition, since under be at once more compact and more

centrifugal than is usually the case. If we turn to extreme individual records

we

find several

observations worthy of note. Thus the extreme up-alignment for Subject II, a rise of eight millimeters, is recorded on November 8, just preceding a football game in which II

96

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
intensely interested.

was

The mood was

characterized as

one of strain and excitement, certainly hyperkinetic, but not
describable as pleasurable or the reverse. On November 20, when the subject was ill with la grippe, the writing shows a falling alignment, varying from two to thirteen
millimeters. The maximal slant (nearly fifty-three degrees) occurs for Subject II on two days when the subject was in a

humorous mood, incident

to editing the "yellow" number of the college paper. It is noticeable that often a given mood prevailed for a number of days and continued to color graphic expression. Thus, a number of II's extreme records fall in one and the same week, a vacation period toned with a pleasant senti-

mental mood that magnified and inclined his writing. Four of the contrasting records occur in one week and in the week following five others; during this interval the subject was
struggling with la grippe. number of Subject I's most diminutive specimens are found in the first week of the experiment. The explanation is obvious. There was definite concentration upon the

A

graphic product which resulted, as
pect, in small, even,

we have

reason to ex-

somewhat

vertical writing.

On

enlightening.

the whole, the results of the experiment were most An increase in graphic movement accom-

panies heightened energy, while changes in slant and alignment appear influenced by emotional conditions but not in
in

unequivocal way.

CHAPTER

VII.

GRAPHIC INDIVIDUALITY.
is frequently made that graphic individubut a specific example of a pattern that is impressed upon all the expressive movements of a given person. How may one prove or disprove such an assertion? Obviously not by casual observations which are subject to two very serious sources of error: (i) the difficulty of accurately reporting on the individual character of expressive or graphic patterns and (2) the biassing of observation in both cases by

The

assertion

ality is

a definite mental attitude which predisposes one to see similarity or difference between the two.

As

a control on such comparison

it

seems necessary that

the observations on the

expressive pattern should be made by different persons. It would be well if each judge were ignorant of the specific point at issue, namely, the extent to which the two sets of judgments would be found to agree or disagree. In the simple test about to be reported, this ignorance of the purpose of the experiment existed only in the case of the observers of the expressive movements. I myself passed judgment on the handwriting

graphic

and

pattern.
first attempt at handling the situation was unsuccessAfter careful study of the handwriting of fourteen students in one of my classes I attempted to describe the graphic individuality of each by five carefully chosen descriptive adjectives. From these adjectives I prepared a list of words which I gave to the class, requesting each member to choose three which should characterize as ac-

My

ful.

curately as possible the carriage, walk, and manner of gesture of each member of the class. comparison of these

A

judgments with those I had passed on handwriting showed cases of both agreement and disagreement.
latter

97

98

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

I had, for example, characterized P's hand as expert, graceful, mincing, rapid, and self-conscious. The following tabulation was made of the judgments on his expressive

Neat, 7; graceful, 3; mincing, 3; expert (including fluent), 5; energetic, 2; conventional, 2; easy, 2; diminutive, I decided, I affected, I smooth, 2 finished, The most frequently chosen adjective 2; matter-of-fact, 2. is "neat" which might have been applied to P's writing with As his writing is small, "diminugreat appropriateness.
; ; ; ;

movements:

tive"

might also have been applied, etc. But, obviously, the adjectives chosen were not sufficiently distinctive. In at least one case, a very evident disagreement between handwriting and type of movement is recorded. The observers agree fairly well on Pt. Her manner and walk are and characterized as decided, energetic, matter-of-fact,

Her writing was characterized as neat, unaggressive, rapid. unemphatic, and diminutive. On the whole, however, the test proved of little value, not only because of the vagueness of adjectives selected, but also because of the inconclusiveness of the judgments passed
on the expressive movements. There are instances in which twenty-one out of a possible thirty- four adjectives were applied to one and the same person.
In order to decided to submit contrasting adjectives, with instructions to apply one of each pair to the individual whose walk, carriage, and manner of gesturing were under observation. Furthermore, I adopt-

Accordingly

I

planned a new experiment.

control observations

more

definitely

I

ed as a general principle for choice of adjectives 'the disseem to hold for the contrasting types of exThis resulted in a series of plosive and inhibited writing. paired adjectives as follows: Rapid or slow; light or heavy; loose or compact; expansive or restrained; adroit or maladroit; fluent or jerky (tense); angular or supple (rounded); conventional or individual; impulsive or deliberate;
tinctions that

concentric or eccentric.

GRAPHIC INDIVIDUALITY

99

A
md

adjectives
:arriage,

blank record was prepared consisting of these paired under the instructions, "Please study the walk,
then

and gestures of the persons who are listed below classify their usual movements under one of <:ach of the following terms." The list of names given was carefully selected and limited to twelve, as the passing Df a real judgment demands considerable effort of attention. With this in mind I also selected my collaborators with bare. Six student judges were utilized, five of whom carried DUt the exercise as part of their experimental work on the general topic of expressive movement, in connection with other experiments under the same general heading. Their work was done very conscientiously. In addition, I asked
live faculty

pome

definite reason; one, for

colleagues to pass judgment, selecting each for example, was instructor in

dramatics.
collaborators reported great difficulty in passing these udgments. Most of them observed for some weeks the inrlividuals listed

My

before they recorded their impressions.

The

:lassification "concentric-eccentric"

seemed particularly dificult to handle, possibly because the concept was a somewhat novel one. A note had, however, been appended to he question blank, defining concentric as movement toward lie body as a center eccentric as movement away from the "Notice, for example, whether the elbows are car)ody.
;

Next to this division, that of "conwas found most difficult to manage. The terms "adroit" and "maladroit" proved ambiguous
ied in or out, etc."

entional-individual"

;

or expertness might be emphasized, n some instances judges found themselves utterly unable o reach a decision on some particular point for some paricular person observed, so that there are inequalities in the umber of judgments returned. Only seven judges returnd records for P not because of any particular difficulty in landling his case, but because of lack of acquaintance with iim and failure in opportunity to study his form of expresither
skill

grace or

ion.

100

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY Of HANDWRITING

Before giving out

my

blanks for these records,

my

judg-

ments on the handwriting had been filed away. In some cases I found great difficulty in reaching a decision and at

many

I tried very points dissatisfaction with my record. conscientiously to dismiss from my thoughts any characteristics of an individual other than his handwriting, but it

would be impossible to assert that I succeeded absolutely in such an endeavor. The rubrics which caused me the greatest trouble were ''Light-Heavy" and "Individual-Conventional."
sets of

Note i. I had little confidence in either of these judgments except in a few extreme instances. My judgment on the division "Fluent or Jerky (tense)" was influenced by a study of the line-quality under the microscope. My observation on "Rapid-Slow" was based on general apBut it was possible to obtain, later, timed records pearance. from all my subjects and to compare these records with an
order of merit arrangement earlier
correlational coefficient

based on the was made with speeded writing. My biggest errors in judgment was underrating the speed of D3's hand and overestimating that of P errors which were not confirmed byj

made by myself. The: when the arrangement was normal writing and .61 when the correlation
was
.55

my

collaborators'

judgments on expression.
i

In passing judgment on concentric or eccentric move-! ment I gave attention to slant. I grouped three specimens under the rubrics "concentric"; one was a backhand (L) a second (Si) presented numerous examples of what the French call "ecriture sinistrogyre," that is, curves or terminal strokes turned in the reversed direction. S2 approaches a vertical hand. 03 was classed as "eccentric" but aftei considerable hesitation; this hand will, I believe, become
;

later a
slant.

backhand, although as yet it follows the conventional 03 has since, in fact, informed me that in very rapic.
is

and careless writing there toward the left.

a strong tendency

to

slanl

[Note i. I do not feel at all confident just what pair of term: should be utilized in discriminating between the explosive and th'

GRAPHIC INDIVIDUALITY

IOI

In the present set of ihibited hand with reference to this point. udgments I interpreted "individual" as equivalent to "easily identiied," but such a definition causes an inclusion in such category of A .uids that are stylistic (Si) as well as those that are original. On the other hand, a careless tylistic hand is, probably, inhibited. and (Wi), as such, shows explosive tendencies but it may not far from a conventional style.] jepart very

Inents

Table V gives a detailed survey of the results. The judgon the expressive movements are summed under the ippropriate heads while in the third column of each set
|f

he graphological judgment is indicated by the initial letter the chosen term. question mark after this initial indi-

A

!

ates uncertainty in decision; a plus mark shows that the uality was evident to a high degree ; a minus sign indicates

jhe

reverse.

As a rough approximation of the agreement between the wo sets of judgments we may take the percentage of cases
p which the graphological judgment is in agreement with he expressive judgment. Chance would account for a fifty |er cent agreement; the actual agreement is 60.5 per cent, nough higher than chance to point an interesting problem. Jut such summary disposal of records is of much less in?rest than detailed perusal. For example, there are indiduals whose expressive movements are obviously charactered with ease as shown by the preponderance of judgments i one direction or another; there are others whose moveents are

most

difficult to classify.

pe
V.

we have Ai, Di, D2,
Agreement

As example of the first of the second, D3, H, L, of the expressive with the graphic judgP, Si
;

ient is fairly consistent for
>r

A2, Di, H, P, Si less evident for Ai and D3 there is noteworthy Bi, D2, 82, and isagreement between the two sets of judgment; the judgients on L are balanced. Agreement in the two sets of idgments is, on the whole, more pronounced in case of the
;

W;

icn,
)2,

(A2, Di, B, Si, 82, and P) than of the women, (Ai, is an D3, H, L, and W). outstanding exception to iis statement. A greater degree of conventionality in ther expression or handwriting on the part of women prob-

H

bly explains this result.

IO2

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

uojspap ON

+

1

M

1

IBnpiAipui

|>ONOOOO(NO<MCOIC

(MONO

rHOOTt<(Ni-l"*

+ +

Mt-rHOOt-OO

esooq

0)

JH

O

fl

1

S

l

s

GRAPHIC INDIVIDUALITY

IO3

Age, even more than sex, cuts expressive tendencies. The members of the group as such exhibit more impulFor D3 isive and free movement than the older members.
iyounger

youth masks inhibitory tendencies very evident in handwriting. But on the graphic side the effects are reersed; age, with increasing graphic expertness, may lend an impetuosity to handwriting movements which walk and gesture lack. The record of B (one of the older group) B's writing is im'should be studied in this connection. Ipetuous and excessively rapid in appearance. By the timed records on normal writing it ranks second of the twelve. But the general effect of carriage and walk is ;Note 2. slow and deliberate, although B's gestures are quick and
(and
r

L

(their

jv

instructor in dramatics who has had frequent occasion study B's movements in amateur theatricals. Next to age, the confusion of certain bodily characteristics Iwith movement seems to me a frequent source of conflict in classification. Thus B is heavy of body but rather extraordinarily light of movement if one discriminate with care; D3, on the contrary, is excessively slight in build but relaThe situation is further comtively heavy of step. plicated by the tendency to allow supposed mental traits to
'the

jhim
to

There is only one dissenting judgment in rating (impulsive. as slow in movement ; that dissenting record is given by

judgment on expression. One subject for observation exhibits considerable inertia in getting down to
influence the

work but after beginning proceeds with great celerity and with quick decision. This trait of inertia introduced difficulty in classification of him as impulsive or deliberate. If we turn from the individuals who were observed to the
rubrics

employed we

find that there

is

greatest agreement
;

n the two sets of judgments under the headings Rapid-Slow Angular-Rounded; Impulsive-Deliberate; and ConcentricEccentric.

Agreement

is

less

Restrained;

Fluent-Jerky;

pronounced on Expansiveand Conventional-Individual.

[Note 2. In the speeded records B ties for first place. If speed were accurately calculated on the basis of time per millimeter, he

IO4

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE} PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

would undoubtedly rank first by a safe margin, as his writing is very large. B's speed could be increased by a reduction in size of letters, a device which would certainly be adopted by a penman of different mental type.]

There
rics,

is

slight

preponderance

in

disagreement for the rubdis-

Light-Heavy and Loose-Compact and only chance

tribution for Adroit-Maladroit.

Some

probably to be attributed to ambiguity in Thus I found myself interpreting "adroit" as equivselves. alent to "expert," "skillful," while I am inclined to think The records on conthat my collaborators stressed "grace." centric expression deserve particular study as the results are most suggestive, and the agreement more extensive than appears in a crude summing up by totals. Only in the case of P is there striking disagreement. As my judgments had in this case a rather definitely determined objective basis, the
results are

disagreement is the terms them-

enhanced
it

in value.

be stated that the outcome of the experiment is slightly in favor of an agreement between graphic and expressive movement but that the whole trend In conclusion,

may

is indicative of the great difficulty inherent in observation of expressive movement and the absence of all standards for reference. Certainly no sweeping assertion of general similarity can be ventured, although for a few traits there is strong evidence of such harmony. It is rather interesting to note in this connection that the percentage of

of the results

successes

when judgments on

character (see chap. VIII)

were related

to particular graphic traits was usually higher In the character investigation, I than that reported here.

had, however, the assistance of much more expert collaborators than in the experiments on graphic individuality.

CHAPTER

VIII.

GRAPHOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS.
In 1906, Binet published his most interesting treatise on "Les revelations de 1'ecriture d'apres un controle scienof a series of caretifique," wherein he presented the results
fully controlled tests designed to answer the following questions Does handwriting reveal sex, age, degree of intelli:

gence, character? have already had occasion to refer to Binet's conclusions with reference to revelation by handwriting of age and sex. Here we may briefly summarize his conclusions

We

as to determination of intelligence and character from handBinet concludes that intelligence is revealed in writing.

chirography although the extent of this revelation varies with the individual the graphic signs of intelligence, granted an incontestable reality, are not always found in the writing of a man of great intelligence. In selecting from paired specimens the hands produced by the more intelligent of the penmen, Crepieux-Jamin gave 91 per cent, of successes.
;

(3c:101.) But the graphological portraits, correct so far as It is this vagueness they go, are often extremely vague. that needs to be cleared up by greater precision in definition and interpretation of graphological signs. Perhaps the conservative statement that there is more truth than error
in the

Binet's records

judgments of graphologists anent intelligence sums up on this point. Concerning his tests on the

revelation of character in writing we may cite the general conclusion that the errors in reading character from writing

much greater than those found in reading intelligence and that the graphologists show greater uncertainty in the second than in the first test. In actual figures, CrepieuxJamin's percentage of successes was but 73 as compared with 91 for intelligence (3c:248), where a chance success of 50 might have been anticipated.
are

105

IO6

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

ly in

Binet's interest in the above investigations centered largediscovering a method for testing graphological con-

The question of method is, in fact, crucial. In clusions. the experiment I wish to report here I have endeavored to check up a chosen number of graphological principles by utilizing a modified form of the order of merit method. In

many

respects

my

procedure was very different from that

of Binet. In the first place I was obliged to dispense with In lieu of their the services of professional graphologists. interpretations I had recourse to measurements and observa-

on certain graphic signs that could be made by myself and which could serve as a basis for a serial arrangement.
tions

the graphologiobtain a characterological arrangement for correlation with the graphological one I was obliged to ask help from a number of psychologists whose averI shall refer to briefly as

This arrangement cal arrangement.

To

age judgment on a given individual

I

have taken as
:

my

basis for comparison. I may describe my procedure under four heads

(

i) choice

of graphic elements for measurement; (2) determination of graphological scheme; (3) material to be used in the experiment (4) questionary and collaborators.
;

(1)
it

For graphic

traits I

was anxious

to utilize as far as

possible the same elements that I had studied in preceding sections of this book, namely size, slant, alignment,

was

These continuity, line-quality or pressure, and proportion. graphic elements lent themselves in a greater or less degree
to objective measurement, so that it was possible on the basis of such measurements to arrange a given collection of hands into groups which represented a graded series in which a given external character was present to a greater or less extent.

As

the procedure

a matter of fact with reference to actual details was not quite as simple as the above state-

ment would suggest.

Modifications will the specific discussions that follow.
to correlate

become apparent

in

(2) Difficulties enough presented themselves when I tried some simple graphological scheme with each

STUDY OF HANDWRITING

Otf

PSYCHOLOGISTS

IO7

of the above mentioned elements. As finally worked out I attempted a test of each of the following assumptions: I.

Small or filiform writing as an evidence of interest in minutiae or details in preference to preoccupation with principles; II. Large writing and, in particular, large capitals in comparison with one-space letters as an indication of pride, hopefulness III. Degree of discontinuity or disconnectedness of script as symptomatic of speculative or induc;

tive type of intellect in contrast to deductive or assimilative type of thinking; IV. Pressure or line-quality and peculiar forms of stroke as significant of aggressiveness; V. Variation in slant and alignment as symptomatic of temperament ;

VI.

A

complex of

traits as

symptomatic of an explosive ver-

sus an inhibited make-up.

(3)

The

thirty-six psychologists,

knowm

was a series of letters from most of whom were fairly well There are both advantages and disadvantages incollection utilized

herent in the choice of a closely selected group of individuals. Such a close selection probably rules out extremes of difference such as one might expect to find in a more miscellaneous group and so decreases the index of correlation. But in testing the significance of a specific detail it seemed worth
while keeping fairly constant such factors as general culture, general intelligence, and general character stability. Several of my collaborators commented on the effect of

One remarks, "Is it not utilizing such a group of subjects. to be expected that your list, which includes only those who have a certain measure of success in psychology, would fall
in the

medium

class ?"
:

another wrote as follows "In taking a group of well known psychologists you have a group of successful people which means in general a group whose members do not outrageously from the social norm in social qualities energy and the qualities connected therewith deviate in the direction of excess. Indeed as psychologists and as
differ

And

and

in

successful they are a somewhat narrowly limited Such a description is well worth keeping in mind.

group."

IO8

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

(4)

My
I

judgment

collaborators in this experiment, whose group utilized in getting a characterological rating,

consisted of twelve well-known psychologists who had had considerable opportunity to know well many of the other

psychologists whose writing I was utilizing in the test. To each of my collaborators I sent a list of thirty-six names

some one
groups
Group
1.
I.

with the request that each individual be classified division of each of the given rubrics. The
utilized

under
specific

were as follows

:

Preoccupation with Details in Contrast with eral Principles Five Divisons.
;

Interest

in

Gen.

Preo

c c u-

pation
details.

with

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

ICK)

crated to reduce a correlation that might have been obtained under more favorable conditions.

My
course,

utilization

of
first

the

graphological
It
is

somewhat mechanical.
In the

material was, of abundantly open to

criticism.

that a professional graphologist ond place I made little effort to

place I do not possess the background would have and in the sec-

modify the outcome of memeasurement by what graphologists call the total complex. In fact, I deliberately avoided any attempt to utilize the graphological portrait as a whole and leaned
chanical

rather 'heavily

upon

details,

with the very definite purpose

of testing as stringently as possible certain specific assumptions, with the assurance that positive results would thereby

be enhanced in value. Such procedure also protected me from a possible inclination to be somewhat influenced by the professional reputation of the penmen. personal acquaintance was limited to a few of the number. While on the whole I rested my case largely on a few specific meas-

My

urements, there were times when I was obliged to have recourse to a balancing of two or more graphic signs. Under such circumstances my weighting of individual elements was necessarily arbitrary as I could obtain little assistance

from the treatises on the subject. Another prolific source of error was the possible multiThus, increase in size plicity of causes for the same effect. of writing may be determined by decrease in illumination or increase in automatism or effort to mask a lack of motor control. I had, of course, no knowledge of the conditions under which the letters I was using had been produced and no specific information concerning the penmen. In several cases I should greatly like to know whether or not vision is normal. Occasionally an age factor is slightly evident. Probably the most significant source of error in the present investigation was the lack in a number of instances of
sufficient material

to justify a

judgment.

In the case of

two specimens
judgment.

I

was

One

certainly reckless in attempting to pass specimen (2) consisted of two lines scrawl-

1

10

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

ed with great precipitancy at the close of a typed letter and the other (6) of a few words filling in the blanks on a printed card. I have omitted my measurements on these specimens from one or two groups as I shall specify later. Speci-

men 8 was
So

also very meagre.

was concerned, my collection was a fairly comparable one. Different size of letter sheets probably introduced some slight uncertainty in judgment on size but, on the whole, this source of error was negligible. few words conSo much from the graphological side.
far as letter-content

A

encountered by my collaborators in the characterological judgment. Apart from the difficulty inherent in breaking up such a closely selected group, there was the error arising from insufficient acquaintance with an individual or, at least, a more extensive acquaintance with some of the psychologists than with others. As an outcome of my returns I found it necessary to discard six of the names included in my original list because of failure to recerning the
difficulties

number of judgments to justify obtaining Moreover, I did not receive for every grouping complete returns even for the twenty-nine remaining names. My averages are obtained from individual items varying from seven to twelve in number. Apparently my collaborators found greatest difficulty in passing judgment on Temperament, and on the Explosive-Inhibited make-up.
ceive a sufficient

an average.

moreover, evident that the categories I adopted to be desired in the way of logical classification. Such inadequacy was, in part at least, due to the difficulty I found in reducing graphological implications to any form of system. Rigid definition of rubrics might have been attempted, but I thought best in the present exploration
It
is,

leave

much

to

of handwriting specimens is something of a strain upon even the most confident graphological principles. I have, therefore, tabulated for each specimen under each rubric the graphological group in which it was placed before the shaded ar-

employ somewhat elastic terms. The attempt to work out a serial arrangement

STUDY OF HANDWRITING

Otf

PSYCHOLOGISTS

III

rangement was made and I have given in parallel columns most common placement by my collaborators and the mean variation from this mode. When the same number of judgments was given for two adjacent groups, an intermediate point between the two is indicated. When such
the

a distribution occurred for groups not adjacent, the miidgroup was used only when the shading from one to the other was a quantitative one. Only a few cases of this sort
appear.

See Table VI.

a study of this table a number of conclusions become evident which are not revealed by the citation of the correlational coefficients. Such a tabulation enables us,

From

moreover, to pass from a mass treatment of results to an
estimation of the individual successes or failures that might be anticipated from a graphological analysis. An individual, rather than statistical treatment, is, of course, the desideratum in diagnostic tests. i. Small or filiform writing as an evidence of interest in detail in contrast with speculative interests. The correlation of an unusually small and precise hand with love of minutiae and critical acumen, in contrast with

interest in far-reaching projects and speculative principles, is a common one in the books on the subjects. Accordingcollection of hands in five groups ly I decided to classify

my

to correspond with the characterological divisions previously

given: (i) Preoccupation with details; (2) Love of minutiae; critical, but wider interests than i; (3) Balanced attention to details

and principles; (4) Details subordinated;
Details ignored; spec-

interest in far-reaching projects; (5) ulative; poetic.

In making

my

classification

for this purpose I
I

course to actual measurement of size of letters.

had was

rein-

terested in absolute size, not in proportional size, for example the relative size of small and capital letters, a matter

of concern in another study. While small and narrow writing indicates love of detail, we have other graphic characters that should be considered with it and these I utilized in

112

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
Regularity and

getting

my

group

classification as follows:

invariability of writing; even spacing of words and lines; clear and sufficient formation of letters; care for punctua-

order of merit was prepared with these points in contrasting hand involved the presence of one the following traits or Rounded strokes extra loops and high placed i-dot; rising alignment; insufficiently clear letters and letters larger at the end than at the beginning of a word. In using absolute size of writing as a basis of classification, one encounters the following difficulty, namely, that size is a mbst variable aspect of writing it is influenced by many factors, such as size of paper, the pen one uses, illumination, physical condition, the care with which one writes.
tion.

An

mind.

The more of

:

;

;

Moreover, the group from which my collection came was a closely selected one and did not show the range of variation in this respect that would be exhibited by a more miscellaneous collection. The miniscules ranged in height

from

less

than
:

.5

to 5

mm.
all

observations
are

"Almost

My notes show the following of these hands show attention to

detail in the clear-cut stroke

few

'speculative'

and complete letter-form. There hands among them." And again,

after completion of my arrangement, "I find it very difficult to make an order of merit. Many of the hands are both

The final rating throws more large and clear-cut. emphasis on even, complete, and careful writing than on absolute size. Hands 7, 22, 9, 29 are taken as the central group because they show to a high degree signs of both critical acumen and interest in principles. The less evident cases are thrown into groups 2 and 4. Groups I and 5 present some interesting extremes. Except for groups I and 5, I have absolutely no confidence in this grouping."
But in spite of this lack of confidence the correlation between the graphological order of merit and the one obtained by averaging the group judgments of my collaboris high, .61 (P. E., .082). The most consistently minute hands of the group seem written by psychologists
ators

STUDY

Otf

HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

113

details rather than prinhowever, a few large hands in which isize is overweighted by other symptoms of care for detail. This outcomie of the experiment is of very great interest in connection with our previous query whether small writing such is evidence of general inhibitory tendencies. It indijas cates an affirmative answer. Certainly the strongly hyperkinetic hands emanate from psychologists who are more definitely interested in general theories than in detailed criticism or prolonged experimentation. The blurring of letciples.

who concentrate by preference on
There
are,

!

i

hand and the occasional trailing off of the miniscules should not be confused with the even, clearScut minuteness of the hand which is characterized above.
ters in the hyperkinetic
iplete
I

refer to Table VI, we find that there was comagreement in the graphological and characterological grouping fourteen times out of a possible twenty-nine

When we

The percentage
J48.2 as

(including in this total the three half-step displacements). of successful graphological placements is

against a possible 20 per cent, chance success. Furthermore, there are thirteen displacements of only one step. shift from Group i to Group 2 is less serious than one from Group 2 to Group 3 or fromi Group 3 to Group 4. There

A

are

indicate decided disagreement

two displacements, for specimens 16 and 27, which between the graphological and characterological judgment. Both are large, uneven, excitProbably both represent real contradiction of
the graphological position, although the very extreme variation on the characterological rating of 16 should be noted.

able hands.

The placement of this psychologist by ten collaborators was as follows: Group I (2) Group II (3) Group III (2) Group IV (i) Group V (2). 2. Size and Emphasis of Capitals; Peeling of Self; ;

;

;

Worth.

On

asked for:

the characterological side a five-fold grouping was (i) Strong Feeling of Self- Worth (2) Moder;

ated Feeling of Self-Worth: (3)

Average Feeling of
Self;

Self-

Worth;
Modesty.

(4)

Modest Estimate of

(5)

Excessive

1

14

GRAPHOLOGY AND

THE}

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

graphological arrangement was made on the basis of emphasis, and ornamentation of capitals. In general, such characteristics as increased size, emphasis, and ornamentation are explained as dependent upon the heightened detachment consciousness with which the capital is made. of a capital from the following small letter and its production by a slow drawing movement is also evidence of augmented consciousness. The increase in size with increase in feeling of self- worth is explained ( I ) as a specific instance of feeling for spatial relationship which correlates size with prestige and (2) as a general outcome of effort, striving, ambition. Subsidiary to size and emphasis of capitals comes graphic size in general, involving small as well as large

The

size,

A

letters.

In making

my

arrangement

I first

measured

in millimeters

the capitals of each specimen and then measured the average one-space letter; I also found the relative height of capital
I then recorded observations on the letters. ornamentation, detachment, and design of the capital letters, in this instance examining with special care the autograph as in the autograph we find such features accentuated, and, sometimes, striking variations introduced. In this connection it should be recalled that the utilization of relative height of size of capital and one-space letter in a given collection of specimens is of doubtful value in view of the fact that the penmen may use writing systems in which the standard proOne who has been taught a portion varies considerably. Spencerian system would for this very reason show a greater difference between capital and one-space letters than one who has learned a vertical system.

and one-space

The correlation between the graphological arrangement and the average character rating was inconclusive; .24 (P. There are some remarkable agreements, particuE., .12). larly at the beginning and end of the two orders, but five very
great displacements. One of these big displacements occurs for specimen 2, already cited as an inadequate representative. Of the other four, two hands (8 and 4) exhibit, it would

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

115

seem, a deceptive appearance of ultra-modesty; while two others (28 and 24) give, falsely, an impression of great selfcomplacency. The characterological rating is, however, a
difficult

one to handle.

There are many

different kinds of

self-feeling which manifest themselves in such different as to make various impressions on one's acquaintances.

ways For

example, pride sensitized by self-centeredness might impress one less vigorously than a more candid and less self-conscious demeanor. Table VI indicates that there were only six instances of identical grouping by the two methods twelve cases where a one-step displacement occurred; and twelve cases of still greater displacement. The percentage of complete agreement is no higher than mEght have been anticipated by chance. Actually, it is more significant 'than a chance agreement as revealed by the graphological order of merit and the order made on the basis of the average characterological rating.
;

To

illustrate,

No. 23

is first in

the graphological order

and

first in

the characterological, ( (Group I (8) ; Group II (i) ) ; No. 26 is third in the graphological arrangement and second

in the characterological, ((Group I (5); Group 11(2)); No. 7 is fifth in the graphological order and third in the

((Group I (6) Group II (3) Group III The agreement between the graphological and characteological rating is much more noticeable at the upper than at -the lower end. Of the seven specimens placed in Group I
characterological,
;
;

(2)).

column three were identified by a graphological analysis but not one of those placed in Group 4 or 4.5 was selected by the graphological procedure. Cerin the characterological
tainly, there is

nothing in specimens 10 or 20 that would lead

to expectation of less than average feeling of self- worth. But a closer study of 6, on the basis of more material, has

convinced

me of error in placing it. Curiously, this group as a whole contains more individuals who are characterized as possessing a strong feeling of self-worth than those cited as excessively modest.

A

professional

graphologist

might

by

utilization

of

the

1

16

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

whole graphological portrait have achieved greater success I was able to do in this limited application of a specific principle obviously, I would have been in very considerable
than
;

error in about two-fifths of
I

my

readings.

On the

other hand,

would have had some
!

brilliant successes to balance

my

failures

3. Graphic Continuity; Originality of Mind versus Poiver of Organisation. From our previous discussion of graphic continuity it is evident that the graphological interpretation of this element is both ambiguous and uncertain. Briefly, connected script would seem to be the product of the practical organizing type of mind broken script of the intuitive, original, fertile No psychological reason for such interpretation is type. attempted, and, as in every other case, multiplicity of causes
;

same effect is recognized. In face of the somewhat bewildering disagreements in the traditional literature I decided to confine myself to Preyer's interpretation and with his five-fold scheme in mind (see chapter iv) I turned to my collection of hands to attempt, if
for the

an arrangement into classes on the basis of degree of connectedness or disconnectedness. I tabulated for each specimen and for a constant number of words the number of breaks between letters of the same word and also the number of run-on words and the tying together by "t's." From this
possible,

tabulation

I

made my grouping.

It

was, however, necessary

to consider in tabulation of breaks that certain ones

much more

significant than others.

were For example, a break

between a capital letter and a following small one is less significant than a break between the small letters of the same words, largely because of the design of the capital and its production by a separate impulse of attention. My study of my collection revealed no sample of extreme
disconnection. It
as follows:
letters;

(2) breaks; (4) Highly connected hands, with (a) unattached

was possible, however, to make five groups, (i) Numerous isolated letters and breaks in Isolated groups of letters; (3) Occasional

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

1

1/

capitals; (b) attached capitals; (5) Completely connected hands with words tied together. The margin of difference between 'these groups was, however, very slight and after Perconsideration I threw together the last two groups. I felt that the three hands thrown originally into sonally group 5 (namely, specimens 18, 22, and 23) represented a very different form of motor impulse from that of group 4.

They engender a feeling of breathless precipitancy rather than one of smooth expertness, and had I followed my personal feeling would have been grouped with i rather than 4.
Reverting

now

to Preyer,

it

was evident that

his classifica-

tion could be applied to the present collection only in a modified form. His first class and possibly his second class were

not represented at

all.

pond

to his third

;

my

My first division appeared to cor^essecond division to his sub-group under
;
;

three. This latter division I eventually numbered I my first group I re-numlbered 2 my third and fourth groups remained as before. From the characterological side the interpretation was as follows: (i) Original and fertileminded, little judgment or power of organization; (2) Original and fertile-minded plus power of judgment; (3) Logical

type; combinative activity; (4) Assimilative capacity, utilization of the ideas of others, neither critical nor ingenious. As a scheme for logical classification the above is far from
satisfactory.

As one

of

my

collaborators wrote

me

in protest,

the divisions are not mutually exclusive. Personally I felt the whole interpretation somewhat absurd, and my tabulation

on the basis of breaks highly fantastic. Because of the small margin of differences it did not seem feasible to miake an order of merit as I had in the preceding
In preliminary comparison
sufficient to
it

cases.

seemed probable that
the real distinction

two groups would be
in

mark

degree of 'connectedness. This two- fold division could be achieved by throwing together the first two and the last two divisions. Those psychologists included in the first group would be characterized by the predominance of originality; those in the second by predominance of organizing, critical

and

logical capacity.

Il8

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

Utilizing this twofold classification I found the returns my questionnaire interesting, and, in the light of my From seven to eleven judgments scepticism, unexpected.

from

were passed upon 29 names of my list and in 20 of the 29 cases there was a preponderance of judgments in favor of the graphological rating, 68.9 per cent of coincidence. For example, specimen No. 27, graphologically in the second

group of the twofold division, is placed by five judges in group 3, by two judges in group 4, and by one judge in group i. Specimen No. 19 of the first graphological group is placed by five judges in group I, by four in group 2, and Nine of the judges consider the in group 4 by one judge. and fertile-minded rather than logical. Two penman original
of the big discrepancies are found among the three specimens that I placed at first in a fifth group by themselves and included finally in group 4 with an inner protest.
cal rating is too

This comparison of the graphological and characterologicrude to be satisfactory. We may, there-

more complete
ators

fore, turn to the tabulation of the fourfold grouping for collaborreturns. It will be observed that

my

were very chary in utilization of the fourth group but had found more use than I had for Group i. In fact I had placed but one specimen in this group and, unfortunately, received too few judgments on this psychologist to justify using them. The tabulation indicates for the thirty hands used a practical agreement on fourteen specimens, or 46.6
per cent of success as against a twenty-five per cent chance agreement. There are twelve one-step displacements and shift from Group 2 to Group four greater displacements. 3 or the reverse represents considerable error but a shift in either direction for Groups i and 2 is not serious. The most noticeable error is in placing 23, of which I have already spoken. Probably in balancing all traits, as would be done in a professional reading, this error would have been

A

avoided.

The outcome
ing as
it

was unexpected.

of this part of the experiment is as interestIt points to a problem which

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

IIQ

should be investigated with care, namely, the possible correlation of certain types of attention with both mental and graphic traits. Of course, as always in this investigation,

we

are confronted with a multiplicity of causes for the effect

under consideration, but in the present collection graphic
all

discontinuity can scarcely be attributed to inexpertness since the penmen are experienced writers although not all are
4.

expert penmen.

Line Quality; Aggressiveness. Graphologists usually associate will-qualities with forceful stroke or heavy pressure. As accessory signs they list angu-

and amplitude of writing, and the so-called dagger-stroke, evident in the terminal stroke or the bar of the "t."
larity, verticality

My fourth grouping was made on this basis to correspond with the five divisions previously given, in a series graded from great aggressiveness to passivity. The correlational coefficient was too low to be significant, .23 (P. E., .13), Two big displacements occur from one extreme in the graphological arrangement to the other extreme in the characterological, (Nos. 8 and 26). Omitting these two names we get a correlation coefficient of .51 (P. E., .11), which is high enough to have suggestive value. The omission of

the specimens indicated is, of course, illegitimate, for both exhibit real contradictions to the graphological contention.

Both are unusually
in this

light tracings.
is

We

may, however,

recall

a big margin of error in attempting to estimate pressure by the eye. The tabular summary of groups shows ten agreements
(inclusive of half-step displacements) or 33.3 per cent coincidence as against a 20 per cent chance agreement. There are thirteen one-step displacements and seven greater displacements. one-place shift is not serious in this connection as the groups shade into one another. character

connection that there

A

A

reading on

this basis

would give about three successes out

of every four trials. The seven outstanding cases furnish material for considerable analysis of details into which, howThe greatest ever, it is not profitable to go at present.

120

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

discriminating between the merely explosive hand and the hand which is both explosive and aggressive. Probably a similar difficulty would be encoundifficulty, I suspect, lies in

tered in choosing the decisive character trait. Slant and Alignment; Temperament. 5. The graphic elements that are correlated with emotional

and temperamental capacities include slant and alignment on the ground that both are akin to movements of advance
or withdrawal as manifested in emotional expression in general; the eccentric or centrifugal movement is correlated with the pleasurable and the concentric or centripetal movement with unpleasant feelings. The scheme utilized by the graphologists would then be somewhat as follows Degree of emotivity would be evidenced by degree of slant and by its variability, while the direction which this emotivity would take would be determined by the alignment; up-alignment,
:

optimism; down-alignment, depression; fluctuating alignment, variability. A few other signs of excitability and variability might also be taken into consideration the presence, for example, of excess movements and general signs of variability such as fluctuations in size. Moreover, large size itself is sometimes cited as symptomatic of hopefulness reduced dimensions, of depression. The characterological
; ;

grouping was as follows

( i ) Optimistic, hopeful, enterprising; (2) Cheerful, active; (3) Equable, evenly active; (4) Moody, variable, fluctuating attitude toward work; (5) Pessimistic philosophy.
:

Preliminary to my arrangement of my collection I measured the average slant of each graphic specimen and estimated the degree of slant variability. I then listed the mannerisms of alignment, including not only the divergence of the line itself from the horizontal but such alignment as characterized the t-bar, since, according to Preyer, the manner of crossing the "t" with an up or down or straight stroke is but a special instance of alignment in general. I then selected
the equable in temperament the profor my midgroup ducers of hands of slight and uniform slant, with straight

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

121

and uniform alignment and general evenness and calrrftiess This classification was not difficult except for of script. two specimens which combined minute size and vertical I next sorted out the hands that showed slant, (3 and 22). extremes and variability in slant, grading these with greater respect both to degree of slant and of variability and separating into two groups on the basis of up or down alignment. Sub-division of these groups was made on the basis of degree of slant and of variability, but weight was also given to size in separating Groups I and 2 and in Group 4 (Moody) were included cases of fluctuating alignment, particularly the line convex or concave in form. Group 5 included hands
I then arranged the with a perceptible down-alignment. names within each group seriatim. Cases of fluctuating alignment in combination with extreme slant were most difficult to place and in a number of instances my notes indicate a wavering in decision between Groups I and 4, with

final

uncertainty as to proper placement. Slant and alignment as a basis of classification involve

great chance for error inasmuch as both are especially variable. In making such observations as the above, one should have at hand a number of specimens of a given hand, which

was not

the case in this investigation except for a few penmen. In addition, there are the usual difficulties arising from difference in system of writing utilized; a vertical system encouraging a less degree of slant than the Spencerian. It should, however, be observed that the slant in the specimens of the present collection is extreme in only a very few instances. A tendency to back-slant is perceivable in but a few specimens and then only in spots. I have stated elsewhere my conviction that such a tendency is related to latent ambidextrality, a point which would have no connection whatever with temperamental traits unless possibly the more

highly unidextrous person is more objective-minded and, in consequence, more cheerful and hopeful in temperament than the ambidextral type, an hypothesis highly speculative

but in

harmony with a number

of observations which

I

have

122

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE) PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

gathered. The present collection yielded only one specimen of comiplete backhand writing and unfortunately too few of my collaborators were acquainted with this individual to

make
It

possible a characterization of him. that my collaborators found great difficulty in arranging in temperamental groups the names sent them.

was evident

Considerable personal acquaintance is necessary before one can confidently risk such a judgment. Just as I experienced uncertainty in separating Groups I and 2, so too did certain of my collaborators, indicating this by linking the two groups. Although the groups do not give satisfactory basis for an order of merit, I have attempted such a serial arrangement as a possible way of bringing the records together.

The

'correlation

between the graphological and character-

ological arrangement (.27, P. E., .12) is too low to be significant. Study of the serial arrangements indicates, however,

an agreement on one-third of the twenty-seven names. big discrepancy occurs for specimen 19, placed graphologically in Group 4 but with a question mark, as possibly Seven of nine judges placed 19 in belonging in I or 2. either the first or second group so that the evidence of moodiness

A

would seem deceptive. Specimen

4,

placed

by the

average judgment well up toward the cheerful end of the spectrum}, exhibits, graphologically speaking, every sign of a moody, fluctuating disposition. Five judges place 4 in i one in Group 2 and three in Group 4. Among Group
;
;

who probably knows 4 most intimately. Group 5 was very sparingly used by my collaborators and the graphological arrangement included only three names in this group. Only in one of these three
these latter judges
is

the individual

cases
tion.

is

age judgment.
It

the graphological rating in harmony with the averNo. 17 is of especial interest in this connec-

presents an extraordinary

fall

in

alignment,

a

which I have noted in a number of specimens of writing by this same penman. I have a feeling but without specific information to back it that this hand presents
characteristic

pathological features;

it

may

be conditioned by defective

STUDY OF HANDWRITING Of PSYCHOLOGISTS
vision

123

or general motor incoordination. Following the graphological tradition I placed it in Group 5, but in this case the falling alignment is not significant of a pessimistic outlook as evidenced by the general agreement as to the writer's cheerful or at least equable disposition. The tabulation of the results by groups shows a complete agreement on only six names, scarcely more than might be

expected by a chance arrangement. In two other cases the There are nine one-step displaceresults are indecisive. ments ten displacements of more than one step. The tabulation reveals in a number of instances very great discrep;

ancy in temperamental judgments as given by my collaborNo other arrangement gave so many extreme variaators. For specimens 4, 5, 8, 18, and 26 the variation is so tions. extreme as to lead one to have as much confidence in the
graphological as in the personal rating. 6. Explosive and Inhibited Make-Up. In testing the possibility of deducing from handwriting explosive or inhibited tendencies, I turned from the more conventional treatments in the usual treatises and adopted Klages' scheme for determination of the degree to which psychic energy is freely liberated or the reverse. The general conception reminds us somewhat of James' description

have here, of the obstructed and explosive types of will. I suspect, the central problem in utilization of handwriting in psychodiagnosis, just as we have many indications that
the distinction so well phrased by James is an essential one, particularly if we recognize that an explosive type of will

We

may

result either from defective inhibition or exaggerated impulsion and an obstructed one from excessive inhibition or insufficient impulsion. Klages bases his scheme for identification of the free and retarded hand on the results of experiments upon disguised handwriting. The graphic characteristics that are accentuated when control is at a maximum become then symlpto-

matic of a hand, the writer of which is highly self-conscious and maintains a high degree of control without yielding to

124

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY Of HANDWRITING

automatism. On the other hand, the writer of the explosive is one whose attention is directed away from the writing act, who confidently surrenders to graphic habits. We have already seen that the maintenance of a high degree of self-control shows itself in decreased size of writing, decreased slant, greater degree of disconnection, lessened

hand

speed, increased pressure, and increased conventionality. Following Klages (26:152), therefore, I used one of each of the following pairs of terms in description of each specimen
:

1.

2.
3.

Rapid or Slow. Expansive or Restrained. Pressure-weak or Pressure-strong.
Flowing or Intermittent.

4.

5.

Rounded or Angular. Continuous or Broken. Zealous or Retarded.
a.

b.

a.

Open
in

or Compact.
in

b.
6.
7.

Inclined or Vertical.

Rich

Hxcess Movement or Meagre

Movement.

Centrifugal or Centripetal. a. Right-slanted or Back-slanted.
b.

Abductive or Adductive. A. Emphasis of upper strokes or emphasis of lower strokes.

8.

B. Rising Alignment or Falling Alignment. Assured Coordination or Unassured Coordination.
a. Slight or Excessive Difference in Lengths. Individual or Stylistic.

9.

In describing each specimen under such a scheme there was, of course, considerable crossing over from one class to another. I had difficulty also in determining with any degree of accuracy the pressure of a hand and its speed. Experimentalists

warn us against an attempt to estimate force of stroke from line quality, while from tests on myself I have concluded that m(y judgment on the relative rapidity of a hand is subject to considerable margin of error. Evidences

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

125

of extreme effort may blur effect of speed or a flowing movement may enhance such appearance. My study of my collection from the present point of view proved most enlightening. It was undoubtedly possible to pick out hands that gave evidence of explosive traits and inhibited ones. Particularly was I interested in the question whether the individual of strong impulses and exaggerated inhibition could be discriminated from one with moderate impulsion and deficient inhibition. I believe this to be possible.

My

collection contained
deficient

weak impulsion and
acterless

inhibition

achieve no measure of success

no hands evidencing both such individuals but I have seen such char-

hands

in

my

experience with students.

my prelimjinary description I arranged the hands in groups: i. Excessive Impulsion; 2. Moderated Impulsion; 3. Balanced Impulsion; 4. Strong and Uneven Inhibition 5. Excessive Inhibition. Then, as before, I attempted to arrange my groups seriatim. This proved a baffling task for I had, of course, no notion as to the proper method of
five
;

After

weighting the various graphic characters. before some of my material was inadequate.
tion I discarded

As

I

have said
first

In this connec-

two specimens (No. 2 and No. 6), the

consisting of two lines sprawled in great haste at the close of a type-written letter, the whole effect of which would be
to increase the signs of impulsion

the second, consisting of a few words filling in blanks on a card. The correlation with the twenty-six other hands is 53.4, a correlation high enough to suggest a most interesting and promising field of work. With proper weighting and defini;

tion

of

graphic indications

of

impulsion

and

inhibition,

more extensive observation of graphic more adequate presentation of material a
lation

specimens,

and

might be anticipated.

It is

along

significant correthis line that I am

making
to

exploration of a series of tests usable as an index
indicate,
it

temperamental patterns.

The two orders of merit
in

is

which either

my

application of the scheme

true, certain cases is at fault or

126

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

the graphological implications inaccurate. There are at least two hands that give evidence both of extraordinary impulsion and of great conflict I have entered them as inhibited types but my collaborators group them as explosive. There is, on the contrary, one exceedingly smooth and supple hand (10) that is produced by an individual of evidently inhibited
;

Another specimen (8) baffles me completely. Possibly I ami deceived by its extreme fluidity, the utter absence of resistance to be overcome, in which case it may characterize a person not only of great impulsion but also of
tendencies.

complete lack of conflicting or inhibiting tendencies. Turning to the parallel tabulation of the most frequently recorded character- judgment and the graphological grouping we find nine agreements in group-placement, or 32.1 per
cent of successes. There are eleven one-step displacements and eight bad displacements. In the latter group fall hands Five of these errors occur 5, 7, 10, n, 15. 16, 24, and 30. These particular hands in connection with my group 5. bear the impress of very extreme graphic inhibition. I find difficulty in believing that one would fail to find this paralleled in some form of temperamental inhibition, such as undue reserve, timjidity, scrupulosity, extreme sensitiveness and the like. But in the absence of evidence such an assumption has, of course, no particular value.

On
The

dark as

the psychological side we are pretty much in the to relation of impulse-tendencies and psychical types.
I

received in the present investigation suggested some rather general character-patterns. I therefore found it interesting to ask whether a comparison of character judgments gave any evidence of what elements
returns
the existence of

With this question in constituted the explosive make-up. mind I obtained the coefficients of correlation for the serial arrangement on the basis of Bxplosiveness-Inhibition and
the other five characterological arrangements. The results are unmistakable. The correlational coefficients are all positive and high. It is evident that the explosive

type

is

characterized by a strong

feeling

of

self-worth

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS
(.81),

127
extent

and by aggressiveness

(.82).

To

a less

the explosive type tends to be optimistic rather than pessimistic (.45) and speculative rather than preoccupied with details

(.49.) Certain individual divergencies are, however, of the utmost interest, largely because they may contribute to an
effort to distinguish between the explosive hand that is the outcome of absence of inhibition and that which is explosive
in spite of inhibiting tendencies.

Light pressure

is

a sign of impulsion; heavy pressure of

inhibition, and, according to the traditional interpretation, indicative of will-qualities. Certainly inhibitive tendencies

point to a mjore resistant make-up than the more fluidic explosive type. Do our penmen of explosive type of writing, inclusive of lightness of pressure, differ in any essential way

from those whose general type of hand is explosive but heavy? Do the latter manifest dominant impulses breaking forth from conflicting impulses? Is this type a more inelastic,

dogmatic, self-critical pattern than the more fluid

type?

The two penmen who gave such discrepant results when we concerned ourselves with the arrangement for aggressiveness were of the light-pressure explosive pattern. Certainly the effect of their handwriting is radically different

from that of the heavy individualized hands that are

at

once

explosive and inhibited. Possibly the term "aggressive" is not well-chosen in characterization of a dominant quality of
possibly connote general impulsion to too high a In any case, our intercomparison of the characterological arrangements is of interest. There are two individuals held to be somewhat more explosive than aggressive and two others more aggressive than explosive. The first two are also characterized as modest in their estimate of self, giving us a pattern of non-aggressive, modest impetuosity; the second two are thought to exhibit a more extreme feeling of self- worth, giving a pattern of self-assured, aggressive inhibition. These patterns appear to be much more excepwill
;

it

may

degree.

128

GRAPHOLOGY AND TH

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

tional than the aggressive prideful impulsive type or the non-aggressive self-distrustful inhibited type. The tempera-

shows one inhibited individual who is, Three explosive individuals are classified as variable in mood and fluctuating in attitude. This raises a question which has hovered in the background pretty persistently, namely, what application
mental
classification
less,

none the

of a cheerful cast of mind.

should be mjade in this connection of the fluctuation in
explosive-inhibited tendencies so evident in unstable personalities ? The raising of this question must suffice at present. study of Table VI confirms the existence of certain

A

definite character patterns. Obviously 29, 24, 15, 12, n, 5, and 2 belong to a balanced type. more extreme pattern is suggested for 23, 26, 19, and 4. Again, a glance at the

A

table indicates great difference with respect to the certainty with which the different individuals were grouped. There
is

very extreme variation on

16,

17,

14,

19,

less variation in the

placing of 29, 23,

2, 10,

group the graphological rating of 29, particularly successful, but the same cannot be said with reference to 2 and 10. The difficulty with 2 was largely due to an attempt to pass judgment on insufficient and hasty
latter

and 22; much and I. Of the 23, and I was

writing; 10, however, as mentioned before, presents a real problem for graphological analysis. In general conclusion to this investigation it may be urged
that graphological contentions deserve more consideration than they have received. Four of the six correlations between

graphological and charaeterological ratings that were put to
the test gave positive results, certainly much more striking results than I should have ventured to anticipate. The

deduction of feeling of selfand alignment proved largely inconclusive, although even in these instances the successes exceed those that might be dictated by chance. The correlation of small, even, and clear-cut script with a critical habit of mind; of a speculative tendency with broken script; of aggressiveness with heavy line-quality and staccato

graphic

traits utilized for the

worth and the

utilization of slant

STUDY OF HANDWRITING OF PSYCHOLOGISTS

I2Q

stroke; and of an explosive make-up with a hyperkinetic hand should receive consideration. The instrumental study

of handwriting should find here certain problems worthy of extensive investigation. Klages' list of inhibited and explosive traits is largely determined by features that characterize artificial or dis-

guised writing in contrast with spontaneous writing. But it is interesting in this connection to bring the results into relationship with pathological writing. In general, the observations are in harmony. Hyperkinetic writing, as characterized by de Fursac, is exaggerated in size with excess of flourishes and big lower loops it is a running hand, often with words tied together it may be of such excessive speed
;
;

that certain letters are obliterated (effaced)
size,

;

it is

variable in

and

slant,

and presents malformations of the miniscules.

Its energy may be apparent either in the increased size, the excessive rapidity, or the great pressure. Such a description corresponds fairly well with Klages' more specific and detailed scheme of graphic signs of release or checking of

impulsion. Variability is, however, more emphasized than any particular kind of variation and pressure appears as an element of hyperkinesis, rather than as a trait symptomatic

of retardation.

The hypokinetic or relaxed hand
logical writing
ness.
is

as

it

occurs in patho-

however, the parallel of the inhibited hand, which exhibits, as it were, brakes put upon explosivenot,

The signs of tension or inhibition listed by Klages are outcome of attention to writing, self-consciousness and the like. They do not indicate disturbances of attention or of motor coordination. The moderately inhibited hand is more normal than the highly explosive. It is possible to select hands from the present collection that closely resemble those produced under psychic exaltation. Specimen 26, for instance, shows such variations in size from magnified capitals to miniscules that are only an undulation of the pen as to closely resemble some of the samples reproduced by de Fursac as characteristic of manicthe

130 GRAPHOLOGY AND THlC PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING
excitement.
logical signs.

Two

One

other hands of the collection show pathoexhibits a fine tremor very evident under
fall

the microscope and the other presents an extraordinary in alignment.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
A
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CHAPTER IX

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
We are now ready remarks with reference
introductory chapter:
1 i )

to venture to certain

upon a few concluding problems suggested in the
for, investigation

The

specific results of,

and program

precipitated by graphological discussions,

and
products
in

(2) The possibility diagnostic tests.

of

utilizing

graphic

have found reason to (i) To recapitulate briefly. believe that graphic size is symptomatic of the free release of energy or the reverse and that extreme variation from
conventional standards has evidential value in an inter-group comparison as well as in intra-individual comparison. We have found that a high degree of variability in size, slant,

We

alignment, and similar graphic elements, witnesses lack of mastery of the motor impulse by reason of defective control or excessive impetuosity, and that there is reason to believe that such extreme variability is evidence of the possession of specific mental traits. Effortful control of graphic movements likewise introduces very definite signs. have found reason to correlate frequent breaks in graphic continuity in an experienced hand with speculative interests, and the contrasting hand with practicality. On the other hand, we have encountered a stumbling block in our attempt to

We

and alignment in temperamental diagnosis. Even here, however, indications were not wanting of some curious confirmations of the graphological position. Such indication, for example, is found in the correlative changes that
utilize slant

occurred with shifts
tion

in

mood

for Subject II in the investiga-

on individual variability, and in the curious similarity between type of slant and expressive attitude which the experiment on graphic individuality revealed in a number of
cases.

The concept

of the explosive versus the inhibited

132

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
jiand

133

proved particularly enlightening although the limitaion of graphic expression by conventional standards greatly

mbarrasses interpretation of symptoms. Furthermore, the records from study of a given collection If hands suggest that certain very specific psychodiagnostic Our percentlorrelations deserve respectful consideration. ages of successes compared very favorably with those obtained by Binet in his investigation in spite of the fact that ve were dealing with specific rather than general correlaions, with a very limited range of material, and were obliged to dispense with the services of the expert grapholo,

gist.

The detailed report of our employment of handwriting in Dsychodiagnosis should be compared with Hollingsworth's Investigation of the worth of judgments of character based Upon study of a photograph. (24:41 f.). Limiting ourthe records made by the individual judges in Holingworth's test (see page 52) we find that our one amateur graphologist was, on the whole, rather more uniformly successful. But the traits on which judgments were passed Ivvere not, of course, directly comparable. It is rather interesting in this connection to note that in the case of the one trait where a comjparison may be instituted, namely, the average estimation of "Conceit" from the photograph and of "Feeling of Self-Worth" from handwriting, the second source of information was slightly more accurate. All this
'ielves to

by the way.

gram more

Chiefly, our results are of value in that they outline a profor further investigation. They witness the need of precise analysis of graphic elements and the influence

upon each of varying degrees of impulsion and of inhibition. Another suggested problem is the relation of certain types of attention to the smoothness or interruption of the motor We have found some curious problems inherent impulse.
in back-slant
;

the causes that determine

it

should be investi-

gated.

genetic study of the development of individuality in hands should be undertaken, and, also, the tracing of

A

134

GRAPHOLOGY AND
in

THE;

PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

similarity

the specific characteristics of family chirogto utilize graphic products in diagnostic
classifi-

raphy. (2)

The attempt

tests involves, as

a preliminary, scrutiny of possible

cation of mental types. number of simple bipartite classifications which are current in psychological texts bear

A

obvious implication of a pattern fundamentally motor in The particular categories we have in mind have origin. been cited frequently in the preceding chapters. They include
the following organization of types Explosive or Obstructed Sensory or Motor Hyperkinetic or Hypokinetic
:

;

;

distinction is rapidly becoming widely the division into an introverted or an accepted, namely, extroverted disposition. Although the angle of approach is

(akinetic).

Another

in this instance very different, the division itself effects a very similar grouping of individuals and hence raises again

the question as to the relationship of motor impulses to these psychic patterns, a question which suggests a method of experimental attack of certain modern theories which up to
the present have been presented largely in dogmatic form. With reference to the other organizations of types we

say a few words. James' classic description of the explosive and obstructed will has been appealed to in our experimental sections. Certainly the varieties of reaction characterized by him under the above terms have been found most enlightening in our everyday comprehension of char-

may

acter, including as they do the two forms of explosive will because of either exaggerated impulsion or defective inhibition,

and the two forms of obstructed

will,

because of either

insufficient impulsion or excessive inhibition. Naturally one expects to meet extreme types but rarely and one recognizes the fact that emotional excitement may change the inhibited

individual into the explosive or that age may transform the explosive person into the inhibited. Moreover, many individuals appear to fluctuate from one type to the other more or less periodically.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

135

Much

that

is

said of the explosive-obstructed

make-up

is

very general in nature and not subject to experimental Davenport's recent attempt to study the inheritanalysis. ance of temperamental patterns and his conclusion that defective inhibition of the nomadic instinct is "probably a sex-linked, recessive, monohybrid trait" opens out the way for a new method of study of mental types, although his
study of the more complex temiperamental patterns serves to emphasize the obstacles that must be overcome.

The division into sensory-motor types was first made in connection with reaction experiments. Now is not the time to rehearse the varieties in interpretation of the outcome of such experiments, nor the development of precision in
analysis. It would be venturesome in the extreme to attempt to formulate any simple conclusions as to reaction-times and

We may, however, utilize the temperamental patterns. terms sensory and motor in a purely descriptive way and with Baldwin (2:163 f.) characterize the active or motile
person as very responsive to suggestion. "He tends to act promptly, quickly, unreflectively generally such a person,
child or adult,
is

said to

jump

at conclusions

Psychologically
is

such a person

is

dominated by Habit."

He

domineering

and

The "sensory child is passive, more troubled by physical inertia, more contemplative when a little older, less apt in learning to act out new movements, less quick at taking a hint." The sensory indiself-assertive; the

man

of action.

vidual

is the observer, the thinker; he is non-suggestible, non-expressive, non-self-revealing. Any simple registration of such contrasting traits in a motor reaction would be of greatest service in character analysis.

Hirt believes that there

is

a natural form of reaction deter-

mined by inborn

Moreover, his experiments on writing have convinced him of a motor and sensorial writing-type. The penmen who belong to the first type make writing-movements those who belong to the second draw "graphic signs." But is this motor or sensorial character of writing a significant trait? And what proof have we that
;

constitution.

136

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

differing psychophysical personalities are mirrored in these reaction types? Hirt appears to assume the truth of this
latter proposition but he adds that an individual of one type may in a particular activity belong to a contrasting type. So

writing-type

constitutes

only one

possible symptoms.

The motor

and

energetic, and emphatic; the controlled.

symptom out of many is the more rapid, sensorial more heavily slow
reaction

The third distinction to which we referred, namely, hyperkinetic or hypokinetic (akinetic) types is an outcome of study of neuropathic or psychopathic constitutions. Of this distinction

Southard (44) writes: "In confronting instances of over- or under-activity, the analytical student should consider in turn whether his given example of hyperkinesis is
;

hyperkinesis by defect or by excess and the same process is of value in the analysis of akinetic phenomena." Hirt observes that the manic and depressive make-ups
exhibit parallelism in psychic and in expressive activities and lists self-confidence, indiscretion, mental energy, hasty, unmotived and rapid acts as characteristic of the first retardation, indecision, anxiety, lack of self-confidence and inac;

tivity as characteristic of the second.

From

overt expression

one draws conclusions concerning the mental make-up. In the study of temperamental organization, utilization of some form of motor expression should, therefore, prove of
great value if it were possible to disentangle the characterological phases from those impressed upon the movement by pressure of the environment. Handwriting suggests itself as more convenient to utilize than manner of walk, gesture, or emotional expression because of the fact that it produces

a record which can be utilized for repeated observation. It is manifestly of great complexity and subject to great environmental pressure, but in this respect it certainly presents no more difficulties than do other forms of expression. And it would seem more simply susceptible of analysis than is posture or walk or gesture.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

137

Our preceding study has revealed distinctions in hands ies (thoroughly in line with the theoretical categories listed above. But granting the existence of explosive and inhibited (hands, of motor and sensory writing, of hyperkinetic and hypokinetic chirography, what guarantee have we that they point beyond themselves to a general motor make-up. Can any specific motor pattern lead to inference of a general
I

Do not habit and training cause strange inconsistencies in expression fluency, for example, in speech but halting gesture ? Signs of inhibition may indeed arise as an outcome of
temperamental pattern?
;

conflict, but how variously such conflicts may be motivated Reverting to inhibitions in graphic movements, we have found that they may originate in shift from one system of writing to a second, in bad eyesight, in transfer

motor

!

from right

to the left

hand

in writing or the reverse, or

even arise from the writing material that is utilized. On the other hand, graphic smoothness or expertness or chirographic impetuosity rrtay possibly originate in ample practice, or in thorough grounding in the best form of graphic movement. Does adequate comprehension of the multiplicity of causes for graphic effects check any tendency to It undoubtedly Yes, and no. diagnostic generalization? enforces conservatism in attitude and insistence upon experimental procedure but it does not place an impassable barrier
in the

way

of positive interpretation of results.

The

fore-

going account in its comparative treatment of the various methods of studying handwriting and in its experimental
studies has furnished

some

indication of

where to look

for

positive results, sufficient material to at least encourage a further search for a series of graphic tests which might be
utilized to get insight into the type of organization

of a So far, of reagent and so supplement intelligence tests. course, as these tests concern the characterization of the strength or weakness of the motor imfpulse, its energy or free release or retardation they would have value in giving the form of personality only. They would give us no

138

GRAPHOLOGY AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HANDWRITING

information as to the direction in which those impulses would be applied, nor insight into the manifold individui differences in fundamental impulses and sensitivities whicl are basal to character organization. Our further search along this line for diagnostic tests wil consist not wholly in utilization of free handwriting but ir

such restrictions of it as arise in retarded, accelerated, disIn the hope of reaching guised, and automatic writing. positive results I am now puttinr such tests to the proof.

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(a)

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:

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